Written by Staff Writer
05 Dec, 2018 | 9:46 pm
Colombo (News1st): Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne who was in remand custody has been released on two surety bails of Rs. 1 million each. The order was issued by Fort magistrate Ranga Dissanayake.
CDS Wijegunaratne was arrested by the CID and remanded under charges of providing assistance to a naval officer, involved in the abduction and forced disappearance of 11 youth, to evade court.
Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake warned Admiral Wijegunaratne if it is revealed that he exerts his influence on the investigations or on the witnesses, bail will be revoked and he would be placed in remand custody until the trial is concluded.
Court advised the accused to appear before the CID when summoned and provide statements and assist in the investigations into the incident.
The Magistrate expressed his displeasure over the investigations carried out by the Fort police into the allegation that the CDS Ravindra Wijegunaratne and his security detail threatened the chief witness of the case Lieutenant Commander Laksiri Galagamage.
The magistrate added that the there was insufficient evidence to name him as a suspect in the case and ordered the Deputy Inspector General of police of the Western Province to assign the investigation to another officer.
Chief of Defense Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne who was brought to court in a Prisons Bus today was made to wait inside the bus for almost 04 hours before producing him to the Magistrate. Prisons Spokesperson Thushara Upuldeniya said this was done with permission from the court.
While the charges against CDS Wijeyagunarathne in court are purely a legal matter he is still the highest ranking officer in the country’s military and is also the officer who commanded the Navy.
When Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka was imprisoned, Special Security and a separate van were provided to bring him to court. Former MP Duminda Silva who was on death row was also brought to court recently in an Ambulance.
It should be noted an admiral who holds the highest position in the tri-forces was made to wait in a bus for 04 hours at a time when he is only named as a suspect and not found guilty.
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