Naufer and co. appeal to SC
By Santhush Fernando
The five accused in the slaying of Colombo High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya, who were sentenced to death last Monday will appeal against their convictions to the Supreme Court.

Mohammed Niyas Naufer alias Potta Naufer and four of his accomplices at the conclusion of one of the speediest trials ever by a Trail-at-Bar pleaded not guilty. The Sunday Times learns that Naufer’s Counsel Tirantha Walaliyadda PC would file the appeal papers next week.

The three member Trial-at-Bar comprising High Court Judges Upali Abeyratne (President), W.A.T. Ratnayake and I.M. Abeyratne, imposed the capital punishment on Niyas Noufer, Sujith Rohana Rupasinghe, Suminda Nishantha, Udara Perera and Lasantha Kumara for the killing of Sarath Ambepitiya and his bodyguard.

The four accomplices were indicted for the two murders and conspiring to commit the murder while the first accused Naufer was indicted for conspiring, aiding and abetting the murder.

High Court Judge Ambepitiya was murdered along with his MSD bodyguard Chief Inspector R.A. Upali Ranasinghe on November 19, 2004.

Solicitor General, C. R. de Silva PC appeared for the Attorney General while Sudath Karawita and Nalinda Indatissa appeared for the other accused. The trial was completed within seven months, with the Trial-at-Bar finding all five accused guilty and sentencing them to death by hanging. Police investigations were led by Colombo Crimes Division Director SSP Sarath Lugoda.

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