Sri Lanka Law Reports
[1999] 3 Sri LR.
in the vicinity were aware that both deceased lived in this boutiqueand slept in the boutique and only went to their homes to partakeof their meals. In the circumstances the prosecution version has beenthat Kuragama being a person who set up a business about 100 yardsaway, ought to have been aware of this fact and the setting fireto the boutiques was with the intention of killing both deceased andputting an end to the rival business. Though the prosecution isnot required to establish a motive, once a cogent and intelligible motivehas been established, that fact considerably advances and strengthensthe prosecution case. See King v. Haramanisfs>, King v. Appuhamymat 132 per Justice Keuneman; King v. KularatneP• at 534.
The prosecution has established a strong and incriminating cogentevidence against the accused and the accused, in these circum-stances, was required in law to offer an explanation of the highlyincriminating circumstances established against him. The accused hasfailed to give evidence or to make any statement from the dock.In these circumstances, the learned trial Judge was entitled to drawcertain inferences which he deemed proper from the failure ofthe accused to give evidence in explanation of such circumstances.See the Rule in Geekiyanage John Singho v. Kincfa]. Equally,the principles laid down by Lord Ellenborough in Rex v. Cockrain&'0)and by Justice Baron Pollock and Justice Abbott in Rex v. Burdetfu)are applicable to the facts of the instant case. These dicta havebeen followed with approval and applied in Sri Lanka in King v. Seedarde Silva<’2) at 344; Queen v. Seetirf'3) at 321 per Justice T. S.Fernando; Chandradasa v. Queeri'4) at 162 per Justice Samarawickremaand in Attorney-General v. Baddewitaranef'5'; Republic v. Illangatilekel'e,Republic v. Gunawardena(17) at 329 (per Justice Collin Thome); Rexv. Gunaratnd' Arendtsz v. Wilfred P/er/s091 (per Justice Moseley).
We hold that the learned Judge, in these circumstances, wasentitled to draw the necessary inferences and compelling inferencesfrom the circumstance, that is from the failure of the accused to offeran explanation of the highly incriminating circumstances established
Sumanasena v. Attorney-General (Jayasuriya, J.)
and in the face of the strong case established against him by theprosecution. Equally, we hold that the dictum of Lord Ellenboroughis equally applicable to the facts of the instant case. In addition though,generally there is a Right to Silence conferred on an accused personat law – R v. Nayloi<20)- in view of the highly cogent and incriminatingfacts established by the prosecution against the accused-appellant,the exceptions to that general rule, were applicable in that instantcase – vide for the exception to this general rule – Rex v. RhodesP'KRex v. Jane Blatherwick22), Rex v. Bernard23), Rex v. Jacksori2A] at50; Rex v. VoisidZ5) at 93; Kops v. QueeiiX); R v. Sparrow^Z7). Videalso the judgments of Justice Tennekoon in Republic v. Gunawardend281at 212 and Republic v. Lionel. In the circumstances, we see nomerit in the contentions advanced on behalf of the accused-appellantand we proceed to dismiss the appeal after careful consideration.
KULATILAKE, J. – I agree.
Appeal dismissed.