Johnston threatens to sue FCID
Posted on October 18th, 2018

by Zacki Jabbar Courtesy The Island

Kurunegala District UPFA MP Johnston Fernando said yesterday that he would sue the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID), for getting him remanded on what he termed a false allegation.

Johnston Fernando along with his private secretary Sakeer Mohamed and former SATHOSA Chairman Nalin Fernando, were acquitted by the Kurunegala High Court on Wednesday of a charge of misappropriating SATHOSA funds worth Rs. 5.2 million in 2013.

Fernando, addressing a press conference at the Wijerama residence of Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, said that he would decide on appropriate legal action against those responsible for persecuting him after discussing the matter with his lawyers. “The FCID is a UNP office that takes orders from Ranil Wickremesinghe and Anura Kumara Dissanayake. The campaign to sling mud at political opponents began the day Mangala Samaraweera joined the UNP in 2009.

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Kurunegala District MP Johnston Fernando addresses the media in Colombo yesterday. He is flanked by Podujana Peramuna (PP) leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, PP Chairman Prof. G.L.Peiris and Namal Rajapaksa MP. ( Pic. by Kamal Bogoda )

The old cases should be heard first, but hearings are being fast tracked through the Special

High Courts. The Attorney General’s Department and the IGP are playing politics. Businessman are openly accusing Ministers of demanding bribes. To cover all this, people like me are hauled up before courts on false charges. I was in remand for 74 days, but did not seek transfers to hospitals.”

SLPP Chairman Prof. G. L. Peiris said that the Kurunegala High Court had deemed that Johnston Fernando had done no wrong and acquitted and discharged him without calling for his witnesses.

The FCID, he alleged, had submitted false evidence. “They can go to jail for this. A witness was asked to give false testimony. Documents were falsified. Mr. Fernando was in remand for 74 days and is entitled to damages for the mental anguish and deprivation of physical freedom he suffered. Who will take responsibility for the civil and criminal liability ?”

Mahinda Rajapaksa said that a person who was found with a bottle of water at a meeting attended by President Maithripala Sirisena had spent one-and-a-half months in remand custody. That, he noted ,was the type of justice prevalent today.

Asked by a journalist if it was correct for him to have removed former Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranaike in an arbitrary manner, Rajapaksa claimed that due procedure had been followed.

At this stage Wimal Weerawansa, MP interjected to say that the journalist should be talking about what happens now and not three years back. Mahindananda Aluthgamage MP claimed that the removal of Mohan Peiris, from the post of Chief Justice and not Shirani Bandaranaike was questionable. But the journalist persisted, saying that the wrongs committed by the Rajapaksa government were of a far more serious nature than what happened now, which led to the press conference being terminated.

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