Oct 11, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Supreme Court today rejected the appeals filed by the former United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) parliamentarian Duminda Silva and four others against the death penalty imposed on them by the Colombo High Court for the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.
A five-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Priyasath Dep, justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Priyantha Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and Nalin Perera unanimously made the decision to reject the appeals filed by the four convicts.
Accordingly, the bench upheld the lower court's ruling of death penalty for three of the accused Duminda Silva, Chaminda Ravi Jayanath and Sarath Bandara and acquitted the fourth convict, Anura Thushara de Mel who was Duminda Silva's security guard.
However, the Supreme Court has ordered the release of all defendants from the charges of using firearms.
Duminda Silva and 12 others were accused of 17 charges including the murder of MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and four others on October 8, 2011. A special three-member panel of High Court judges acquitted seven suspects and sentenced five including former MP Silva to death on September 8th 2017.
Four of the defendants sentenced to death, Duminda Silva, Chaminda Ravi Jayanath alias Dematagoda Chaminda, Anura Thushara de Mel and Sarath Bandara appealed to the Supreme Court to declare the manner in which they were sentenced was unlawful.