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Mystery of girl friend being murdered 14 years before and without eye-witness evidence ... revealed at last -- both elder and younger brother to gallows!


Mystery of girl friend being murdered 14 years before and without eye-witness evidence ... revealed at last -- both elder and younger brother to gallows!

Kurunegala high court judge Miss Menka Wijeysundera sentenced death penalty to a person and his elder brother yesterday (9) being found guilty of the crime of having taken the girl friend to a guest house and after giving her sleeping tablets and insecticide to drink and afterwards strangling her and murdering her. 

This case devoid of any eye-witness account but based entirely on circumstantial evidence in which towards the end of the hearing of the case it was concluded by the judge that the accusation against
both brothers being confirmed without any suspicion thus being given the death sentence. 

The two brothers had on three occasions made attempts to rob Rs. 9 lakhs belonging to a fuelling station which incidentally was being taken to be banked by the deceased and on the further instance she was strangled and killed as was revealed by chief inspector of police, Mr. Hiriyadeniya and officers with judge arriving at the conclusion that charges against the defendants were proved beyond doubt. 

With relevance to this crime which took place 14 years before this, after perusing evidence for a period of one month, it was deduced that the prosecution has proved beyond doubt that charges against both brothers and thus punishment was imposed on Dhammika Prasanna Wijesingha (41), a three-wheel driver and his elder brother, Anura Jayatissa Wijesingha (50), residents of Maraluwawa, Wellawa. 

Charges against the defendants by attorney general were conspiring to commit murder of a young girl named,R.M. Anusha Hemanthi Rathnayaka (24) in Ibbagamuwa on September 19th, 2005 or a date close to it and accordingly she was misguided with a common motive and committing homicide and in aiding and abetting in the act. The first defendant Dhammika Prasanna Wijesingha had after receiving bail in connection with the case had fled and had been in hiding for several years. However, he was apprehended by police officers of Gokarella police last June and was produced before court after which as the judge decided to hear the case on a daily basis, hearing was resumed from last 8th of July. 

It was then revealed at the hearing that first defendant, Dhammika Prasanna Wijesingha the three-wheel driver though a married man had carried on an alliance with the deceased girl. It was revealed at court hearing that the girl who served Ibbagamuwa fuel station had carried a sum of Rs. 9 lakhs collected there to be deposited at a private bank in Kurunegala on September 19th, 2005 the day when this crime was executed and it was by the three-wheeler driven by her lover, the first accused in this case, Dhammika Prasanna Wijesingha as was revealed in court and this defendant who was aware that his lover was in possession of a sum of Rs. 9 lakhs had suggested: "Let's elope" and subsequently has taken her to a guest-house where she was made to take sleeping tablets; it was revealed in court. 

Since she had not passed away after taking the said sleeping tablets, he had gone home and come with his elder brother, the second accused, Anura Jayatissa Wijesingha to the guest house in a hired out car and had subsequently made the girl who was in a somewhat drowsy state get into the car and headed to the house of the second accused where a vial of poison was introduced to the girl who had asked for a glass of water. Even then since she had not died, evidence was secured at the court hearing to the effect that she was taken to a pit filled with water behind the house and had kept pressing her face in the water with the motive of killing her.The defendants who believed that she had then died having become unconscious, had proceeded to dump her body in the dikcie of the hired car and had arrived at Pakkala ela dam near Bathalgoda wewa; however having noticed that she still was among the living even at that time, had then strangled her thus killed her on that occasion, as was revealed at the hearing and her corpse was dumped near Pannala ela dam when the body was found the next day as was revealed during court proceedings. 

On a complaint received in this connection investigations were launched, inspector of police Mr. Hiriyadeniya of Gokarella police crime division at that time and present officer in charge of anti-narcotics bureau had checked telephone calls received by the fuelling station where the deceased worked and calls originating from there in which instance the defendant's mobile phone number was exposed; subsequent to which after observations carried out in that direction the defendants were traced. 

From the sum of Rs. 9 lakhs both brothers have shared it between the two of them and the first accused in this case three-wheeler and Rs. 4 lakhs buried behind his house was unearthed , chief inspector of police Mr. Hiriyadeniya revealed by giving evidence and that a large number of electronic equipment in the form of T.V. and cassettes were recovered in the process. 

Former judicial medical officer of Kurunegala hospital, Dr. Sunil Piyasena who conducted the post-mortem on the girl's body providing evidence went on to say that 23 wounds were observed on the girl's body and because of perplexities resulting with the girl's nose and mouth being blocked, it has resulted in her death. 

The lady judge who analysed evidence provided towards the end of this lengthy trial came into the conclusion that charges levelled against the defendants were confirmed without any doubt by the prosecution. The judge then said that punishment which could be meted out in the case of a convict found guilty for these charges is death penalty and before imposing her judgement, she questioned whether the defendants had anything to say at that moment when both brothers replied in presence of court that they are not guilty. The judge who considered matters brought before her finally pronounced both brothers the death sentence. State counsel Mr. Charaka Dharmasiri appeared on behalf of the plaintiff by representing attorney general. 

(Manopriya Gunasekera and Ravindra Prabath Netthasingha)       


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