SRI LANKA: The Gerald Perera torture case — the accused to face retrial 

(Hong Kong, October 18, 2012) The Court of Appeal today ordered the retrial on the case of torture of Gerald Perera. The court quashed the order of the acquittal of four of the accused, M. Suresh Gunasena, J.A. Nalin Chandimal Jayasinghe, H.A.P.D. Perera and H.M.A.K. Herath. The court upheld the acquittal of E.A.A. Tushantha and A.M.V. Bandara. All these police officers were attached to the Wattalla Police Station during the time of the alleged torture of Gerard Perera which took place on June 2, 2002. The High Court judge of Negombo, Ms. J.M.T.M.P.U. Tennakoon acquitted all the six accused on April 2, 2008. At the Court of Appeal today the president of the court, Sisira de Abrew and Justice K.T. Chitrasiri made the judgement quashing the acquittal of four accused and ordering the retrial.

Gerald Perera complained of being severely tortured at the Wattalla Police Station after he was arrested on mistaken identity. After the arrest he alleged that he was hung from a beam and assaulted with iron rods. As a result of the severe assault he suffered renal failure and remained unconscious for two weeks. He was saved due to strenuous efforts by the doctors at the Nabaloka Hospital. He remained at the hospital for several months and was treated for injuries over his entire body due to the assault. Extensive medical evidence was led at the trial.

The trial judge held that the arrest of Gerald Perera by four of the police officers who were accused in the case had been proved and that the injuries he suffered took place at the police station. However, the trial judge acquitted the accused officers on the basis that there was no direct evidence of who assault him at the police station.

Previously all the police officers were held by the Supreme Court of the Sri Lanka as responsible for causing torture to Gerald Perera and awarded him damages.

Gerald Perera was assassinated a week before he was to give evidence at the criminal trial for torture filed against the police. The first accused M. Suresh Gunasena and another were accused in a separate murder trial for causing his death. This case is still pending.

The details of the judgement of the Court of Appeal will be provided when a certified copy is available.

Mr. Ranjan Mendis with Mr. Bernard Peterson supported the appeal and on behalf of the Attorney General Ayesha Genadasa, Deputy Solicitor General also supported the appeal.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-PRL-045-2012
Countries : Sri Lanka,
Issues : Torture,