Sri Lankan Police Officers Convicted for 2005 Torture Incident

Matara Civil Appeal High Court Judge Chamath Madanayake handed down a sentence of seven years’ imprisonment with hard labor to three police officers, including the former OIC of the Tissamaharama Police.

This verdict comes in response to their conviction for the severe torture of five youths who were apprehended under suspicion in 2005.

In 2008, the Attorney General filed a case under the Prevention of Cruel Torture Act against three police officers.

The charges stemmed from an incident where five individuals, including a student from Sri Jayawardenepura University, were allegedly taken from a hotel in the Tissamaharama area, to the police, and subjected to inhumane torture by the accused officers.

The judge found the first defendant, the then-OIC of the police, guilty on one of the five charges, and he was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment with hard labor.

The second defendant, a Sub-Inspector at the time, was found guilty on four out of the five charges.

The judge imposed a total sentence of 28 years, with seven years of hard labor for each charge.

Notably, the sentences would run concurrently, resulting in a maximum of seven years of actual imprisonment.

The third Defendant, a police sergeant was found guilty on all five charges. His sentence amounted to 35 years, with seven years per charge, to be served concurrently over a seven-year period.

Deputy Solicitor General Neranjan Peiris represented the Attorney General during the proceedings.

Meanwhile, senior lawyer Dhanushka Jayasinghe and Attorney-at-Law Rajitha Jayawickrama advocated for the aggrieved youth.