Written by Keshala Dias
09 Feb, 2018 | 10:07 pm
The Police Media Spokesman was grilled by journalists today over the failure to arrest former Sri Lankan Ambassador to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga.
Below is what the Police Media Spokesman said:
“I cannot comment on the matter right now. A team has already been deployed. One team left the country on Wednesday, and another last night. They engaged in a diplomatic matter and we will inform the media once we get a report from them”.
Udayanga Weeratunga was intercepted in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, February 4, 2018, when he attempted to leave to the United States.
However, Weeratunga had posted on FACEBOOK that he was released as there was no international allegation to detain and interrogate him by the Interpol, and that there was no red notice issued against him.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Law & Order on Friday evening, issuing a joint statement said, Udayanga Weeratunga had been evading a warrant of arrest issued on October 20, 2016 by a Colombo Magistrate, in relation to investigations pertaining to alleged embezzlement of public funds to the tune of USD 7.833 million with regard to procurement of the MiG aircraft and money laundering.
It adds, on the basis of a blue notice obtained by the Interpol, Sri Lankan authorities have been working through mutual legal assistance with a number of countries to trace Weeratunga’s whereabouts.
Weeratunga has been released as the law in the UAE and the rules governing the Interpol ‘blue notice’ prevented the continued detention.
The statements say, police in the UAE are investigating this matter and that Weeratunga has been prevented from leaving the territory of the UAE until the conclusion of these investigations.
The Sri Lankan Embassy in Abu Dhabi has also retained lawyers in the UAE, specialising in immigration matters to advice the Government of Sri Lanka on this matter.
Moreover, a delegation of Sri Lankan officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Attorney General’s Department and the FCID are presently in the UAE having discussions with the concerned authorities in the UAE, with the aim of having Weeratunga deported to Sri Lanka to answer the allegations levelled against him.
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