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The judgment in the trial-at-bar into the case of the abduction, gang rape and murder of a 17-year-old schoolgirl in Pungudutivu on May 13, 2015, held at the Jaffna High Court, is scheduled to be delivered on September 27, 2017.

The first ever trial-at-bar in Jaffna began on June 28 this year. The bench includes High Court Judges, B. Sasi Mahendran (President of the panel), M. Ellencheliyan and A. Premashankar.

Of those arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department in relation to the case, the nine who have been indicted on many counts (40) including on charges of abduction, aiding and abetting, attempt to bribe, conspiracy, gang rape, murder, plotting, and unlawful assembly amongst other such offences include P. Indrakumar alias Sinnaraja (first defendant), P. Vijayakumar/Jeyakumar alias Ravi (second defendant), P. Thawakkumar alias Sendil (third defendant), Mahalingam Shashidaran alias Shashi (fourth defendant), T. Chandrakanth/Chandrabasan alias Chandra (fifth defendant), Sivadevan Kushanthan alias Periyathambi (sixth defendant), P.R. Kuganathan alias Sishanthan (seventh defendant), Jayadaran Kokilan/Kogulan alias Karu/Kannan (eighth defendant) and Mahalingam Shashikumar alias Swiss Kumar (ninth defendant). Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) P. Kumararatnam led the prosecution on behalf of the Attorney General assisted by other law officers of the Department.

The hearing of the trial concluded on September 13. In the final submissions of the prosecution, DSG Kumararatnam had stated that out of the nine accused, with the exception of the first accused and the seventh accused, there was strong evidence against the seven other accused. Counsels for the defence have countered the claims made by the State prosecutor, with the defendants denying the charges leveled against them.

The verdict in the controversial and shocking gang rape and killing is anticipated by those who have been seeking justice in this regard since May 13, 2015.

Meanwhile, in a separate but connected case, the former Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Northern Province, Lalith Jayasinghe who was previously remanded by the Kayts Magistrate’s Court on charges of aiding in the escape from Police custody of the main suspect in the aforementioned case, the ninth defendant M. Shashikumar aka Swiss Kumar, was released on bail this week. This case is scheduled to be taken up next on December 5.