New panel to probe Mirusuvil massacre
Sri Lanka has appointed a new panel to probe the Mirusuvil massacre.
Five members of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) are charged with hacking to death and secretly burying seven people including a child, in December 2000, in Mirusuvil, Jaffna.
Chief Justice Sarath Nanda Silva has appointed a three-judge bench without a jury to re-initiate the probe which was idle for more than two years.
The new panel consisting of Colombo High Court judges Upali Aberathne, Deepali Wijesundara and Sunil Rajapakse is to begin hearings on 05 May.
High Court judge Sarath Ambepitiya who was head of the three bench panel earlier was killed in 19 November resulting in hindering the case been heard on 22 November 2004.
The trial which started on 25 January 2003 was constantly put off due to many investigating judges were promoted.
Suspected SLA soldiers Sunil Ratnayake, TM Jayaratne, Pushpa Saman Kumara, Senaka Munasinghe and Gamini Munasinghe were indicted by the Attorney General.
They are charged for illegally arresting and killing seven Tamil refugees who came to inspect their homes and then buried at a mass grave at Mirusuvil in southern Jaffna on 19 December 2000.
The massacre was made known to the public after one captive escaped from SLA camp in Mirusuvil and informed the relatives.
Another mass grave in the Jaffna peninsula, in Chemmani, where the remains of 17 people were found, was revealed by an SLA soldier.