The request for filing an appeal challenging the six-year sentence given to the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) organisation Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero will be taken up for consideration by the Court of Appeal on August 31.
The request for appeal was taken up before the two-judge bench
comprising Court of Appeal President, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Arjuna Obeyesekere.
The defense attorney President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne informed the court that he intends to present submissions with regard to three legal issues pertaining to the verdict of the case against Ven. Gnanasara Thero.
He further mentioned that the submissions would be presented through a motion today (28) due to the failure to prepare the submission in written form.
Accordingly, the Court of Appeal ordered Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya, who appeared before the court on behalf of Attorney General, to present submissions regarding the request for appeal when is to be taken into consideration on August 31.
Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero was convicted of four charges over Contempt of Court and sentenced by the Appeal Court to 19 years of rigorous imprisonment, to be completed within 6 years on August 08.
The Attorney General had filed the case against Gnanasara Thero following a petition submitted to the Appeals Court by the former Homagama Magistrate and current Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake.
Gnanasara Thero was charged for threatening Sandya Ekneligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and Contempt of Court by behaving in an unruly manner within the Homagama court premises.
Former Homagama Magistrate and present Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake, Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris and prison officers had given statements against Gnanasara Thero.
However, defendant Gnanasara Thero had pleaded innocence, when the charges were presented at the hearing, claiming that he did not have a motive for contempt of court and that the situation occurred when he became sensitive to the rejection of bail plea of the military intelligence officers who contributed to free the country.