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* Magistrate rejects relatives’ request for secret exhumation of Dinesh Schaffter’s body
Thu, May 25, 2023, 09:52 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 25, Colombo: Colombo Additional Magistrate Mrs. Rajindra Jayasuriya Wednesday rejected the request of the President’s Counsel, who appeared on behalf of the deceased, to conduct the exhumation of the body of Janashakthi Group Director Mr. Dinesh Schaffter secretly.

The magistrate ordered the family to appear at the Borella Public Cemetery today (25) to identify the body when it is exhumed.

The Criminal Investigations Department informed the court yesterday (24) that Mr. Schaffter’s remains will be exhumed today at 8:30 am before the five-member expert medical committee under the supervision of the magistrate.

President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne, who appeared before the court on behalf of the relatives of the family, asked the court to allow the recovery of the body to be done secretly without opening it up to outside parties and to call the forensic doctor of the family to the place.

The magistrate stated that in a situation where an independent committee has been appointed and decided to exhume the body without the support of any party, no order will be issued to interfere with it and she pointed out that problems may arise by calling outside experts other than the members of the committee.

The magistrate rejected the request, pointing out that after the body was exhumed secretly, allegations could be made that another body was exhumed and a post-mortem examination was conducted.

In addition, the court issued orders to the managers of private telephone companies to store the data contained in Mr. Schaffter’s phones securely.

The Government Analyst had reported to the court that three mobile phones given to him had no SIM cards.

During the questioning by the magistrate in this regard, the President’s Counsel said that the Criminal Investigations Department even took the unused mobile phones from Mr. Schaffter’s house to the police.

In addition, the Criminal Investigations Department filed before the court the memorandum that sent the blood samples of Brian Thomas and others to the Government Analyst.

The court has also issued orders to the five-member expert medical committee to conduct a second post-mortem examination of the body recovered today at the Galle Karapitiya Hospital mortuary within two days.

This five-member medical committee was appointed to determine the cause of death of Mr. Dinesh Schaffter, who died on 15/12/2022, according to the powers assigned in Section 375 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.


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