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A sessions court has issued summons to 18 witnesses to appear before it on January 18, 2016 in a 28-year-old murder case in which former Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda is an accused.
Additional Sessions Judge M Shanthi, before whom a petition filed by Additional Public Prosecutor M Prabhavathi came up yesterday, seeking to split the case as some of the absconding accused had turned up, directed all 18 witnesses to be present in the Court on January 18, 2016.
Accepting the APP's prayer, the Judge issued summons to all the witnesses.
On September 10, 2014 Justice C T Selvam had permitted Devananda to stand trial through video conferencing.
The judge had said he should appear through video conferencing at the office of the High Commissioner of India at Colombo, as and when required.
On October 27, the city public prosecutor had filed a petition before the ASJ, seeking to split the case and conduct trial against Douglas and for the nine other accused, all Sri Lankan Tamils, to face trial as and when they are nabbed and produced before the court.
Devananda is the third accused in the 1987 shootout at Choolaimedu here in which one person was killed. All of them were arrested but absconded after being released on bail.
A non-bailable warrant had been issued against Douglas, who later became a Minister in the Rajapakse government. Though he was part of a delegation that visited India in 2006 at the end of the civil war in the island nation, he was not arrested due to his diplomatic immunity.
He did not return to India after that but moved courts for cancellation of NBW.