Author and presidential associate Herman Guneratne who was recently transferred to the Matara Prison hospital last week has had the charge against him reduced to the use of minimal force in self defence and is expected to be given bail when he is produced before the Matara magistrate on Monday or the Matara High Court later this week, The Colombo Telegraph learns.
Guneratne who is the father of former UNP member and southern provincial councillor Maithri Guneratne was arrested on October 5 for firing a weapon into a crowd during the UNP factional clashes in the Matara town.
The original charges against him was the wielding of an unlicensed firearm in the middle of a populated area. The weapon in his possession was also recorded as a 9mm automatic pistol that is prohibited. Guneratne was charged with critically wounding several bystanders including a soldier. At least four people were injured from gunshots fired from Guneratne’s weapon.
However at the Magistrate’s court on Monday the police will redefine the charge to the bona fide use of minimal force in self defense, it is learnt.
His weapon description will also be changed to a .38 revolver, sources said. As such the magistrate is likely to grant bail although under the original charges only the Matara HighCourt could have granted bail.
He was transferred to the MerchantWard of the National Hospital Colombo soon after he was remanded on October 7.