Case against H’tota Mayor to come up on June 2 | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Case against H’tota Mayor to come up on June 2

The case against the Mayor of Hambantota, Eraj Fernando and several others for assaulting five UNP Parliamentarians when they were on a visit to Mattala Airport and the Hambantota Harbour, will be taken up again on Tuesday, June 2, before the Hambantota High Court Judge. On Tuesday, more witnesses including journalists are expected to give evidence on the incidents which took place on that day.

In April 2014, United National Parliamentarians Eran Wickremaratne, Ajith P. Perera, R. Yogarajan, Nalin Bandara and Ajith Mannaperuma visited Hambantota to assess the main economic hubs in the area, when a group of goons who approached the team were seen manhandling the MPs and verbally abusing them.

Then UPFA supporter and the current Mayor of the UNP-led Hambantota MC, Eraj Fernando was seen at the place of incident trotting about with a loaded gun.

During the previous hearing in March 2018, Counsel representing the accused U. R. de Silva PC had not appeared on the basis that a statement given by now State Minister Ajith P. Perera was not given to him on the previous day to prepare for the case.

However, objecting to this stand, Deputy Solicitor General (DSG) Dileepa Peeris took up the position that this was merely a delaying tactic by the defence as the documents were made available.

In his submissions, the DSG stated that victims of this incident will be penalised for the second time, if the case is postponed without any valid reason and that if the witnesses and the Sstate could be ready there was no reason for the defence not to be available for the trial. It is almost four years since the incident took place.

The High Court Judge after hearing both parties gave an order to proceed with the trial and the State-led evidence into the events.

However, after leading the evidence of now Minister Eran Wickremarathne at about 12.35 p.m. one of the accused who fainted was immediately sent to the Hambantota General Hospital. Court was then adjourned stating that it will resume once the accused who fainted is well rested and receives medical treatment.

The police later informed the Court, that the accused had been recommended to be hospitalised as he needed in-house treatment.

Earlier Fernando had been arrested and remanded twice for committing various offences. Attempting to obstruct the official duties of an officer in charge at the Ambalangoda Police Station by attempting to forcibly remove a suspect from police custody and allegedly attacking a group of opposition supporters at a bus halt in Hambantota, are some of the incidents.