For 11 months, the two police officers were jailed under dubious charges of fabricating evidence in a high-profile murder investigation already tried and concluded in the High Court of Colombo five years ago.
A court of appeal bench comprising Bandula Karunarathne and C.D Gurusinghe issued the order for their release on bail and instructed that their passports were to be impounded.
The Court of Appeal Abeysekera and Mendis were released on Rs 25,000 cash bail and personal bail of 1 million with two sureties acceptable to the High Court.
Counsel Viran Corea with Thilani Ariyarathne instructed by Gowrie Thavarasha appeared for Abeysekara.
Counsel Chaminda Athukorale with Hafeel Farisz instructed by Nigel Walters appeared for Mendis.
Counsel for Abeysekera and Mendis made submissions on Tuesday (15) in revision application filed against the refusal to grant bail to the suspects by the Gampaha High Court.
Today’s order comes after months of delays.
Pressure has been building against the Government about its pursuit of vendettas against police officers who investigated Rajapaksa era past crimes and the prolonged detention of lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah and poet Ahnaf Jazeem. Last week the EU Parliament flagged the three cases against Hizbullah, Abeysekera and Jazeem and urged the Government to release them unconditionally unless valid charges could be brought against them. The EU Parliament urged the EU Commission to determine whether GSP+ concessions could be withdrawn temporarily if the Government of Sri Lanka continued to resist human rights reform and the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act.
Earlier this week, the opposition accused the Government of endangering the nation’s economic security in the pursuit of its political witch-hunts and pointed to an impending catastrophe if Sri Lanka were to lose competitive access to the European market through GSP+.