Written by Staff Writer
03 Dec, 2019 | 9:34 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The court has barred the Swiss Embassy staffer who was allegedly held against her will, from travelling overseas until the 9th of this month.
The CID presented facts before the court today (December 03) regarding the alleged incident of a Swiss Embassy staffer being kidnapped using a white van and being interrogated for 2 hours. The CID said that a statement needs to be obtained from the alleged victim.
Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, taking into consideration the facts presented, barred the embassy employee from travelling, overseas until the 9th of this month. The Magistrate ordered that notices be issued that she appear before the CID and provide a statement before the 9th.
Chief Inspector of the CID, Ranjith Munasinghe said that the investigations into the alleged incident were commenced based on a written complaint provided by the Swiss embassy. The CI added that the embassy has not revealed her identity or the whereabouts of her husband and children.
The CID also said before the court that on the 25th of last month, the day of the alleged incident, the employee had left the embassy premises claiming that she was going to her children’s school. They added that her residence has been closed while her husband’s mobile phone, has been switched off as well. The CID said that the husband is an employee at a private bank.
Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara appearing on behalf of the Attorney General said that if the details in the complaint provided by the Swiss embassy are true, then this a serious issue which is not a personal dispute, that would affect the government as well.
He added that if she leaves the country for some reason, without providing a statement to the police, it would affect the image of the government.
Therefore the Senior State Counsel requested the court for an order prohibiting the Swiss embassy staffer and her husband from leaving the country. The court rejected the request to issue such an order against the husband.
The Magistrate ordered that the progress of the investigation be reported to court on the 9th.
Issuing a media release, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs notes that State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl has received the Sri LankanAambassador to Switzerland based in Berlin, H.E. Karunasena Hettiarachchi, in Bern.
Swiss State Secretary Pascale Baeriswyl has asked Sri Lanka to explain the purported evidence against the events described by the embassy, which the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry had alluded to in its press release.
The media release notes Ms Baeriswyl emphasized to the Sri Lankan Ambassador that the FDFA would support all measures to investigate and resolve this matter by due process of law.
The release says she confirmed that the employee concerned still cannot be questioned on health grounds, stressing that the individual’s health must take priority.
She had also indicated that while Switzerland had no interest in delaying investigations by the Sri Lankan authorities, the FDFA takes its responsibilities to its staff very seriously.
Meanwhile, Dilum Amunugama State Minister of Transport Service Management and MP Udaya Gammanpila shared their thoughts regarding the issue.
State Minister Dilum Amunugama stated that the alleged victim is currently working and questioned why won’t they give a statement?
He added that when you check the CCTV footage, it does not contain anything suspicious. He added that this was a mere fabrication.
MP Udaya Gammanpila, Leader Pivithuru Hela Urumaya:
“Today the latest act in the white van saga comes to play under the supervision of the Swiss Ambassador. Under the 38-2 article of the Vienna Convention, a Sri Lankan woman or a Sri Lankan Official does not receive diplomatic immunity. If that is so, the decision of whether or not the woman will be questioned by the Police remains with the Government of Sri Lanka and not with the Ambassador of Switzerland.”
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30 Dec, 2019 | 10:21 PM
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