Gampaha Chief Magistrate Mrs. Silani Chaturanthi Perera today ordered the release of all the suspects in the case, including the former Director of the Criminal Investigation Department, Senior Superintendent of Police Mr. Shani Abeysekera, who was arrested by the Colombo Crime Division a few days before the 2020 General Election and has been on bail for over 10 months. .Sri Lanka Latest News
Senior Superintendent of Police Shani Abeysekera was arrested on the morning of July 31, 2020 by a group of officers from the Colombo Crime Division, accusing him of creating a fake case by substituting firearms and explosives in the case of former DIG Vas Gunawardena, who was sentenced to death by a three-member High Court. .
After that the two officers named Deputy Police Inspector Mohana Mendis and Deputy Police Inspector Navaratne Premathilaka were also arrested. Former sub-inspector Nishantha Silvada, who is abroad, was named as a suspect in this case. After the arrest of Mr. Mendis, the Colombo Crime Division had pressured him to give evidence against Mr. Shani Abeysekara.
In relation to this case, Mr. Shani Abeysekera was remanded for 10 months and 18 days, Mr. Mendis for 10 months and 18 days, and Mr. Premathilaka for 09 months and 19 days.
When this case was called before Gampaha Chief Magistrate Mrs. Silani Chaturanthi Perera at around 9.55 this morning, Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha appeared on behalf of the Colombo Crime Division and informed that the suspects in this case can be released and informed that the Attorney General has received instructions. However, on August 8, 2023, the Colombo Crime Division informed that an appeal was made through the Police Legal Division to reconsider the notification, and that no instructions have been received so far.
Lawyer Mr. Chaminda Athukorala and lawyer Mr. Hafeel Faris, who spoke on behalf of Mr. Shani Abeysekera and other suspects, informed that the Colombo Crimes Division will overturn the law to keep these suspects locked up in this case. That the Magistrate’s Court is bound to implement the Attorney General’s instructions, that Mr. Shani Abeysekera and others have not committed contract killings or rapes, and that a Deputy Inspector General of Police has been arrested after investigating a contract killing, before a three-judge High Court. The lawyers said that the DIG was sentenced to death after a trial, and that these officers were arrested because the incident was investigated.
Then at around 10.05 in the morning, the magistrate informed that the case will be adjourned. After that, the case was called again at around 10.55 am.
At that time, lawyer Mr. Chaminda Athukorala appeared with a group of lawyers for the first suspect, Mr. Shani Abeysekera, and lawyer Mr. Hafeel Faris with a group of lawyers for the second and fourth suspects. Lawyer Chaminda Athukorala said:
The offenses reported by the Colombo Crimes Division in relation to this case are indictable offences. This court only has the power to assist the investigation in that regard. After this investigation, the extract was forwarded to the Attorney General. Senior officials of the Attorney General’s Department have consulted them for months and have said that there is no evidence to pursue the case against the 1, 2, 3 and 4 suspects in this case. It has been said that no further action will be taken and the suspects can be released.
Also, I would like to draw the court’s attention to the second paragraph of the ninth page of the judgment of CA/CPA/18/2022 in the case of Kamani Abeysekera v. Attorney General regarding the granting of bail to Shani Abeysekera.
It is clear that this is a fabricated case. There was no appeal against this decision.
After looking at the investigation done by the Colombo Crimes Division, the Attorney General asked to be released. The Colombo Crimes Division has reported the facts and says that the Attorney General’s advice has been requested to be reconsidered. Does this court have the power to not release the Attorney General?
Subsection 398.2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure reads: (reads)
Accordingly, this court is obliged to follow the instructions of the Attorney General. It is not possible to keep this case in this court when the Attorney General advises. When the Attorney General said that he was going to file indictments, an appeal was made to the Attorney General asking him to consider it, so we cannot ask him to continue this, and when the Attorney General asked him to release him, he filed an appeal and then he asked the police to continue without releasing him.
The Colombo Crimes Division is trying to turn the court proceedings upside down to act maliciously as usual. The lawyer made a lengthy statement, etc. Accordingly, the lawyer demanded that these suspects be released.
Lawyer Mr. Hafeel Faris presented the facts and requested that the presentation of lawyer Mr. Chaminda Athukorala be related to the second and fourth suspects as well.
After that, Mr. Jagath Nishantha, Police Inspector of Colombo Crime Division stated that the investigation related to this investigation has been completed and the file has been sent to the Attorney General. Police Inspector Nishantha said that the Attorney General informed that the law will not deal with these suspects, and after that the Colombo Crime Division once again presented the evidence against the suspects and sent an appeal to the Attorney General’s Department through the Police Legal Division to reconsider. mentioned. He also said that the Attorney General’s instructions have not been received so far.
After sending the Attorney General’s instructions in this case, the Magistrate inquired from the Colombo Crimes Division whether they sent the excerpts of the new investigation apart from the previously referred excerpts related to the old investigation in the request to the Attorney General. Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha replied that no new investigation was done.
Accordingly, the magistrate who considered the facts and gave her opinion stated that according to the instructions given by the Attorney General, she decides to release all the suspects. The Magistrate, who recorded her order at length citing the facts of the Code of Criminal Procedure, further stated that there are no facts in this case that could prevent the implementation of the Attorney General’s instructions. During her order, the Magistrate stated that the Attorney General has not informed the court anything other than the letter sent by the Attorney General about the release of the suspects, either by the police or in writing or by a government lawyer, and that the prosecution is not prejudiced by the release of the suspects.
Accordingly, the suspects including Mr. Shani Abeysekera were released from this case.
Several controversial investigations including the killing of journalists, the disappearance of journalists, the murder of Wasim Tajudeen, the kidnapping and disappearance of 11 youths in Colombo and nearby areas were conducted under the supervision of the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department Mr. Shani Abeysekara and related to the former Defense Secretary. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Western Province Deshbandu Tennakoon and others also took down statements. Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse, who had recorded such statements in the presidential election held in November 2019, won and within 48 hours of his swearing-in as president, Mr. Shani Abeysekera was removed from the post of director of the Criminal Investigation Department and appointed as personal assistant to the DIG of Galle.
On November 24, 2019, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapakse went to see a group of Lords and expressed his views against Mr. Shani Abeysekara.
Shani Abeysekera investigates to get what he wants. NGOs do not ask questions about them. Imprison the people who fought the war, the officials, the Navy Commander, imprison the intelligence department, imprison me. Not only that. Those guys were officials who forced me to say my name. Non-governmental organizations do not question them.’ Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had questioned.
After that, Mr. Shani Abeysekera’s duties were suspended and despite the fact that three years had passed since the incident, neither an investigation nor a charge sheet could be issued, and accordingly the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ordered that Mr. Shani Abeysekera’s wages be paid immediately. Mr. Abeysekara retired in June 2021 and the payment of his pension was suspended without any investigation. The Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Western Province, Deshbandu Tennakoon, had made hateful comments on Facebook on the night of June 31, 2021.
A few days before the August 2020 General Election, Mr. Abeysekara was arrested on July 31, 2020 by the Colombo Crime Division under the supervision of Mr. Deshbandu Tennakone.
In the meantime, Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa appointed a political revenge search commission chaired by retired judge Upali Abeyratne (now the Chairman of the Information Commission) and the said commission recommended the release of the criminal suspects arrested under the supervision of Shani Abeysekera and criminal cases against Shani Abeysekera. Upali Abeyratne had tried to embarrass Mr. Abeysekera, who was on remand, by calling him to the commission from time to time. According to a petition filed by Mr. Abeysekera saying that Upali Abeyratne has insulted the court while dealing with Shani Abeysekera, a notice has been issued for Mr. Abeyratne to appear in court.
Mr. Abeysekera was infected with Covid while he was in remand prison and he also had heart disease. He was not even given appropriate treatment and later the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission intervened and gave him treatment. He underwent a heart surgery and after the surgery, he was supposed to be in the intensive care unit for a certain period of time and under medical supervision for another period of time, but he was not given the opportunity and was taken back to prison.
The Union of Young Journalists prepared an online petition to sign a public petition forcing the government to provide protection to Shani Abeysekera in prison and it received over 5000 signatures.
The Gampaha High Court judge also refused to grant bail to Mr. Abeysekera, who was in remand for more than 10 months, and then Mr. Abeysekera’s wife proceeded to submit a revision petition to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal, which considered it, announced its order and stated that the charges against Mr. Abeysekera appear to be fabricated charges. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal ordered that he be granted bail. Pursuant to the order, he was granted bail.
After that, Mr. Abeysekera was called to Colombo Crime Division on many occasions and finally he was released today by the Gampaha Magistrate.