Army held 50 sittings in HR probe – Peiris

The army has had 50 sittings so far in its probe on allegations of human rights abuses committed by the military during the war, former Attorney General Mohan Peiris told the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva today.

He said that the investigation was being carried out based on the recommendations of the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

Peiris, who is an advisor to the cabinet, said that the army court of inquiry has recorded statements from 30 witnesses.

He also said that the mandate of the army court of inquiry is wide and will cover some issues raised in the controversial Channel 4 video.

The five-member Court of Inquiry appointed on 2 January 2012 by virtue of the powers, vested in the Army Commander, is headed by Major General Chrishantha De Silva.

A Court of Inquiry is an initial fact-finding inquiry, akin to a non-summary inquiry by a Magistrate. If there is a prima facie case disclosed against any person from the evidence led before the Court of Inquiry, a General Court Martial, is convened to try the alleged offenders. A General Court Martial has the jurisdiction that is identical to a High Court Trial-at-Bar and can award any sentence, including the death penalty.

Report by Easwaran Rutnam