In a landmark judgment under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Act, the Matara High Court sentenced three police officers, including the former Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Tissamaharama Police, to seven years of rigorous imprisonment each for their involvement in the abduction and torture of five individuals, including a hotel owner and staff, in 2003. The verdict, delivered by High Court Judge Chamara Tennakoon, marks a significant step in the fight against police brutality and the enforcement of human rights in Sri Lanka.

During the hearing, it was revealed that the victims were abducted, detained, and subjected to severe torture by the accused officers. In addition to the prison sentences, the court also ordered the defendants to pay Rs. 500,000 each as compensation to the victims. The judge emphasized that the charges were proven beyond reasonable doubt, leading to the conviction of the officers involved.

The convicted officers include Prabath Deshabandu, who was the OIC of Tissamaharama Police at the time and is currently serving as the OIC of Kosgoda Police; Sub-Inspector Sannasgala, now serving at Wellawatte Police; and Sergeant Kulatunga, who is currently under suspension. The case, which spanned over 19 years, underscores the importance of accountability and justice in addressing human rights violations.

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