SC issues order preventing Wasantha Karannagoda’s arrest
Posted on March 7th, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

The Supreme Court has issued an order preventing the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) from arresting or detaining the Retired Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda over the abduction of 11 youths.

The Supreme Court judge bench consisting of Justices Buwaneka Aluwihare, Vijith Malalgoda, and Preethi Padman Surasena issued the injunction considering the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by the Retired Admiral.

The Supreme Court has, reportedly, advised Karannagoda to refrain from threatening the witnesses of the case.

He was also ordered to appear before the CID at 9.00 a.m. on March 11th to record a statement.

Karannagoda has submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court, assuring that he would appear before the court and would not travel abroad without obtaining the court’s permission.

Considering his affidavit and the submissions regarding the FR petition, the Supreme Court decided to issue the injunction preventing Karannagoda’s arrest.

However, this injunction does not prevent the Attorney General or the CID from taking legal actions against the Retired Admiral, the judge bench emphasized.

Representing the petitioner, President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva informed the court that the CID is preparing to arrest his client without any legal grounds.

Sri Lanka Navy and several other parties had conducted investigations into the disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 soon after the incident took place, however, none of these investigations had levelled any charges against Karannagoda, the President’s Counsel said.

Over 10 years have passed since the incident, hence the CID’s sudden attempt to arrest Karanngoda is a result of the influence of non-governmental organizations and it focuses UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session currently underway in Geneva, he further claimed.

He said that he has no objection against the decision of Attorney General’s Department to serve indictments on Karannagoda. He pointed out that, however, arresting his client at the moment is unnecessary.

PC Romesh de Silva noted that his client would not abscond the court under any circumstances.

Hence, he requested the Supreme Court to allow the hearing of the petition and issue an interim order preventing the arrest of his client until the investigations into the incident are concluded.

Representing the Attorney General, Additional Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne stated that investigations pertaining to the incident are nearing completion and recording a statement from the petition is required.

Meanwhile, appearing on behalf of the disappeared persons, President’s Counsel J.C. Welamuna has said that preventing the arrest of the petitioner can obstruct the investigations on the incident.

On February 25th, Retired Admiral Karannagoda filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition seeking an order preventing the CID from arresting him.

He had named the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director of Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Attorney General and the OIC of the Gang and Robbery Unit of CID as the respondents of the petition.

Karannagoda has stated that the CID launched an investigation on him for allegedly threatening a witness of the case on the disappearance of 11 youths in Colombo and suburbs in 2008.

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