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Ex-Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewa was sentenced to death by the The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar in the case filed over the 2012 Welikada Prison massacre. The Court also acquitted former Inspector of Police (IP) Neomal Rangajeewa from all charges.

The verdict was delivered by a three-judge bench consisting of Gihan Kulathunga, Pradeep Hettiarachchi and Manjula Thilakaratne of the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar today (12).

Twenty-seven inmates were killed while more than 20 others were injured in the fatal shooting during the Welikada Prison riot on November 09, 2012, when prisoners took control of the populated prison objecting to an unannounced search by the Special Task Force to nab hidden arms, drugs and mobile phones at the prison.

Former Attorney General Dappula de Livera had filed the case against Rangajeewa and Lamahewa under 33 charges. The indictments against the duo read that the inmates were imprisoned for allegedly engaging in drug dealing. The former Attorney General had requested Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya to appoint a Trial-at-Bar to hear the case.

Rangajeewa was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on March 28, 2018, over the alleged killing of inmates while Lamahewa, who was the then-Prisons Superintendent in charge of the Magazine Prison, was apprehended by CID at his official residence on Baseline Road, Colombo 09 the following day.