In the continuing trial of 41 alleged insurgents in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) the prosecutor said four of the nine suspects being tried in absentia were already dead--according to statements made by the others.
In the continuing trial of 41 alleged insurgents in Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) the prosecutor said four of the nine suspects being tried in absentia were already dead--according to statements made by the others. The remainder of the absentees might be in hiding, he said.
Twenty-nine of the accused in court, including the leader of the People's Liberation Front movement, Rohana Wijewerra, have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiring to wage war on Queen Elizabeth of Britain--who was head of state in Ceylon before it became Sri Lanka. Three have pleaded guilty.
The prosecution, conducting its case amid heavy police and troop security, alleged the People's Liberation Front was a secret organisation aimed at overthrowing the Government. It was financed by burglaries and ran a bomb-manufacturing factory, the prosecution charged.
In last year's abortive coup, over a thousand people were killed in fighting between Government troops and rebels led by the Front.
The trial, which opened in July and was almost immediately postponed to give officials time to translate the act under which the suspects are charged from English to Sinhala, is expected to last two months.
This film shows the arrival at court of the van carrying the accused, escorted by police and an armoured car, and the arrival of relatives of the accused. Newsmen were unable to film the accused due to the strict security imposed.