CDS released on conditional bail

Published : 9:10 am  December 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Court decides to remove Fort Police from investigating the case


By Shehan Chamika Silva and  Yoshitha Perera

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Ravindra Wijegunaratne who was arrested by the CID on the charge of harbouring ‘Navy Sampath’ alias Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, who is the first suspect of the case on disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009 was yesterday ordered to be released on conditional bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate.

The suspect was released on two sureties of Rs. one million by Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake and directed not to breach any of the bail conditions of, not to interfere with witnesses or obstruct them, prevent him from obstructing the investigation, and not to use suspect’s office as a mean to intimidate any of the witnesses or investigative officers of the inquiry, as it could reverse the bail of the suspect.

The Magistrate also considering another case which was filed by a key witness of the case on the disappearance of 11 youth ‘Galagamage Laksiri’ observed that the Police has failed to inquire on the matter properly.
On an earlier occasion, Laksiri Galagamage, a key witness of the case on the disappearance of 11 youths had made a complained to the Fort Police stating that CDS Ravindra Wijegunaratne and his aides had attempted to assault and shoot him.

Then the Fort Police filed a facts report about this incident in court and had sought several court orders on that regard.

At the onset of the yesterday’s inquiry (relating to the harbouring of Prasad Hettiarachchi), appearing for the CID, Chief Inspector Thisera informed the Court about what transpired from the statements recorded by the CID with the Chief of Defence Staff Ravindra Wijegunaratne in a recent interrogation.

Giving the statements, suspect Wijegunaratne has denied all allegations put forward against him saying that he did know Prasad Hettiarachchi (who was absconding the prosecution) nor was with the knowledge about any grant of money to him.When Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake questioned, the CID informed Court that it has no objections for granting bail under Section 14 of the Bail Act over the second Suspect on this occasion.President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne, Senior Counsel Asela Rekawa, with Counsel Sajitha Jayawardena appearing for the suspect apprised the court there is no reason to keep their client in remand custody if the prosecution is not objecting for the bail at this occasion.

However, at this moment, Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake observed the relevancy of the related case to this inquiry (an alleged complained lodged by the key witness Galagamage Laksiri with the Fort Police over death threats and threats of abduction received by him from the suspect) for the consideration of the bail. The Fort Police had reported facts about this threatening case in a ‘facts report’ to the Fort Magistrate’s Court.

The Magistrate perused the report and identified some flaws in the report as it had not mentioned the wrongdoing (offence according to the law) on which the inquiry was initiated by the Police and he observed that the police has indicated the suspect’s name (Ravindra Wijegunaratne) as ‘respondent’ in to the inquiry, which is not in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.



  • What transpired from the statements
  • Magistrate identified some flaws in report