Sentenced by Appeal Court over contemptuous behaviour:

An application filed by Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera seeking the Court of Appeal’s permission for leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence was yesterday rejected by the Court of Appeal.

On August 8, Ven. Gnanasara Thera was sentenced to 19-years Rigorous Imprisonment, to be served concurrently within 6 years by the Court of Appeal over his contemptuous behaviour inside the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on January 25, 2016.

Court of Appeal President, Justice Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Goonaratne refused to grant leave to appeal citing that there is no substantial reasons to consider the application.

However, there is no obstacle for Ven.Gnanasara Thera to file an appeal in the Supreme Court. An appeal in the Supreme Court has to be filed within 42 days following the judgment. President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne appearing on behalf of Ven. Gnanasara Thera, submitted to court three written statements on questions of law.

(1). As a matter of law can the accused be charged, convicted and sentenced separately for four seperate counts in respect of one incident that took place at Homagama Magistrate’s Court.

(2). Is an overall sentence of 6 years imprisonment excessive for a single incident of the contempt of the Homagama Magistrate’s Court having regard to the sentence of two year imprisonment imposed by the Supreme Court against S.B.Dissanayake in respect of the contempt of the entire Supreme Court.

(3). Should the mitigatory factor fact the accused did not appear before court for his own personal cause but instead due to his own patriotic sentiments for the cause of the soldiers who fought to end the war in Sri Lanka have been considered by the court in sentencing the accused.

Meanwhile, senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appearing for Attorney General raised objections for the three written statements citing that S.B.Dissanayake’s case cannot be equalized to this incident which occurred in the well of the court. Ven.Gnanasara Thera was sentenced to four-years Rigorous Imprisonment in respect of the first count. Another four-years Rigorous Imprisonment was imposed regarding the second count.

Six-year and five-year rigorous imprisonments were also imposed in respect of third and fourth counts respectively.

While handing out a 56-page judgement, Court of Appeal Justice (President) Preethi Padman Surasena and Justice Shiran Goonaratne had observed that the ingredients of all four charges framed against the accused have been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

At a previous occasion,Ven.Gnanasara Thera had been sentenced to six- months Rigorous Imprisonment after he was found guilty for threatening and intimidating Sandhya Eknaligoda, the wife of missing journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne with counsel Udara Muhamdiramge and Thejitha Koralage appeared for Gnanasara Thera.




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