The progress in Allaipiddy murder case, where five members of the same family were allegedly massacred by soldiers of the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN), has stalled in Kayts District Courts due to lack of co-operation from the Attorney General`s (AG`s) Department, lawyers associated with the case said. Hearings that were to take place on the 30th of August 2006, were finally held on the 14th March Wednesday, after several postponements due to the break out of violence in August last year.
The hearings were again postponed to latter part of May due to lack of instructions from the AG, legal sources said.
Kayts District Court Judge, Jeyaraman Trotsky, during 19th July 2006 hearing warned the high ranking police officer Mahes Perera and his investigation team that charges of contempt to court may have to be brought against them for failing to appear before the Court. Mr Mahes Perera and his team were tasked to inquire into the Allaipiddy killings and to submit the inquiry report.
Following the July hearing, Mr Trotsky requested the Attorney General department to advice him on the how to proceed with the case in the light of the non-cooperation of the Sri Lanka Police and legal need to have an identity parade SLN sailors for witnesses to identify the perpetrators of the crime, legal sources said.
Legal sources said that the AG department has failed to provide any support or take actions to facilitate forward movement of the investigations.
Informed sources said that the SLN officers have informed the AG`s office that due to security reasons they will not be able to assemble 50 to 60 SLN soldiers in one place for the identity parade. Attorney General is considering holding the identity parade in Amparai or Trincomalee, sources said.
Legal sources said that the attempt to move the identity parade to a Sinhala court is tantamount to derailing the case as witnesses from Jaffna are unlikely to be willing to travel.
Sri Lanka has come under increasing criticism for the lack of transparency in the judicial process, and the reluctance at the high levels of the political leadership to prosecute members of the Security forces responsible for several massacres and extra-judicial killings.