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Last updated: 24 July, 2009 - Published 13:19 GMT
 
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Soldiers acquitted in murder case
 
Sri Lanka Supreme Court
Court says charges against the soldeirs are not proven without a doubt
The Supreme Court in Sri Lanka has acquitted and released five army soldiers of murdering ten Muslim youths in 2001.

The five soldiers were earlier sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court for killing Muslim youths in Udathalawinna, Kandy on 05 December 2001, as voting was underway in the general elections.

The suspects were working for Gen Anurudhdha Ratwatte, the deputy defence minister of the then government.

Ratwatte acquitted

After hearing their appeal, a five-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Asoka de Silva ruled that the Attorney General has failed to prove the charges without a doubt.

Lieutenant Ranjith Dharmasiri Wijeratne, Sunil de Silva, Kamal Wijeratne, Anura Kumara and Buddhi Dissanayake were hence acquitted and released by the Supreme Court.

The ten Muslim youths killed on the election day were supporters of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).

Gen Ratwatte and his two sons, who were also charged with the murder, were found not guilty by the Colombo High court in 2007.

Mr. Ratwatte, the uncle of former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumarathunga, was the minister in charge of Sri Lanka military during her rule.

 
 
LOCAL LINKS
Ratwatte bribery case dismissed
30 November, 2007 | Sandeshaya
Ratwatte acquitted on murder case
20 January, 2006 | Sandeshaya
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