"Decision on Dinesh Schaffter's Death: Expert Panel's Report Postponed to Today

Colombo Additional Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya has deferred the eagerly awaited announcement of the five-member expert medical panel's decision regarding the death of Janashakthi Group Director Dinesh Schaffter. The panel, tasked with determining whether Schaffter's demise was a suicide or a murder, submitted their sealed report to the court after conducting a second post-mortem examination at the Karapitiya Hospital in Galle.

The postponement came as a motion was presented on behalf of the deceased's relatives, seeking access to the medical board's report. The Magistrate, however, rejected the request, stating that the law does not permit external parties to be provided with investigative facts before the court issues its order—an assertion emphasizing the independence of the committee's findings.

Expressing gratitude to the expert medical committee for their support amidst their university duties, the Additional Magistrate ordered the necessary procedures to transfer Schaffter's body, currently at Karapitiya Hospital, to his brothers. Furthermore, the Criminal Investigation Department received instructions to facilitate the required arrangements for the deceased's burial at Jawatte Cemetery.

The five-member medical committee, chaired by Colombo University's Forensic Specialist Prof. Asela Mendis, comprises Prof. D.C.R. Perera of Ruhunu University, Prof. D. Fernando, forensic specialist of Peradeniya University, Senior Judicial Medical Officer A. Sivasubramaniam of Peradeniya Hospital, and G.R. Ruwanpura, Senior Judicial Medical Officer of Karapitiya Hospital in Galle—a lineup appointed by the Magistrate in accordance with Section 375 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The committee's focus is solely to determine the cause of Dinesh Schaffter's death, navigating the legal parameters of a comprehensive investigation."

"As the eagerly anticipated decision on Dinesh Schaffter's death hangs in the balance, the Additional Magistrate's decision to postpone the announcement adds a layer of anticipation and scrutiny to the proceedings. The rejection of the relatives' request for the medical board's report underscores the legal intricacies surrounding such investigations, emphasizing the need for adherence to due process.

The expression of gratitude towards the expert medical committee for their dedication amid university duties highlights the delicate nature of the investigation. The Magistrate's directive to transfer Schaffter's body to his brothers and the subsequent involvement of the Criminal Investigation Department in burial arrangements further underscores the legal and procedural aspects surrounding the aftermath of such cases.

The composition of the five-member medical committee, led by Colombo University's Forensic Specialist Prof. Asela Mendis, reflects a concerted effort to approach the investigation with a range of expertise. As the committee's findings are eagerly awaited, the conclusion of this episode will undoubtedly have far-reaching implications, not only for the legal aspects surrounding Dinesh Schaffter's death but also for the broader conversation on transparency and accountability in similar cases."