Written by Staff Writer
04 Aug, 2020 | 7:00 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Ex-Superintendent of the Negombo Prison Anurudhdha Sampayo and three other Negombo Prison officers were remanded to the 18th of August by the Negombo Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday (04).
The other suspects are Chief Jailor Sarath Bandara, Jailor Nishantha Senaratne, and Second-tier Jailor Kalinga Kaluaggala.
These Negombo Prison officers are charged with illegally providing facilities to individuals arrested and detained for drug trafficking and related offenses.
Further, they are charged with forging documents for the facilities provided to the inmates in question and tampering with the accounts.
Attorney-at-Law Upul Rajapaksa who appeared for the former Negombo Prison Superintendent, who is listed as the main suspect, said in court, as per the provisions of the Bail Act, his client should be granted bail.
Further, the counsel said, Anurudhdha Sampayo is still not an accused, his wife is ill and his daughter is a student at the Medical Faculty of the University of Kelaniya.
Counsel for the second suspect, Chief Jailor Upali Sarath Bandara, filed for bail with court adding his client too is ill and there is no evidence against him.
Counsel for the third suspect said their client is a heart patient and counsel for the fourth suspect said the media had reported false information on their client.
Counsel filed for bail for the fourth suspect citing he has no record for previous offenses and he surrendered to authorities immediately after he was made aware of the court order to arrest him.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris appearing for the Attorney General’s Department strongly objected to the requests made for bail.
DSG Peiris highlighted there was an exceptional situation surrounding the suspect, and questioned as to how it is taking place.
He said it is very much unusual for the second and third suspects to appear in court at once when facts were being presented to the court on them.
DSG Peiris further questioned as to how the Negombo Police HQI arrested the main suspect Anurudhdha Sampayo all the way in Kurunegala, at a time when the suspect was evading courts for 11 days.
He noted the Negombo Police HQI had not properly informed the Criminal Investigations Department of the arrest.
He made these comments while perusing the notes of the Negombo Police HQI in court.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris noted although the Police Spokesperson said the first suspect was arrested following an intelligence operation, the notes of the Negombo Police HQI state the arrest was made based on a tip off received by him.
It was also revealed in court, the notes of the Police HQI state the arrest was made after the officer met with Anurudhdha Sampayo based on the instructions of a senior officer and after explaining the contents of the warrant to the suspect.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris said the notes also reveal, Anurudhdha Sampayo was a school friend and the officer was well known to him, and a person who attempted to record footage of the incident was prevented from doing so.
The notes further state the brother of Anurudhdha Sampayo was well known to the Negombo Police HQI adding the suspect was treated to a cup of tea as well.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris questioned as to how one can state the suspect was arrested following an intelligence operation while the notes state otherwise.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris further pointed out, the counsel for the defence stated in court on Monday (03) the suspect had surrendered.
He requested for a special investigation to be carried on the process which took place from 09:10 AM, when the Negombo Police HQI left for Kurunegala, to 03:42 PM, when the suspect was arrested.
He further noted, Anurudhdha Sampayo who could not be traced by Sri Lanka Police and the Criminal Investigations Department for 11 days was located by the Negombo Police HQI, adding the Acting IGP must explain to court on the contradicting nature of the information presented.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris said the Defence Secretary had visited the Attorney General’s Department on Tuesday (04) to discuss the matter and produced a 41-page report to the court on the luxury goods discovered from cells 02, 07 & 08 of the L-Ward of the Negombo Prison, which was under the supervision of the main suspect.
The Negombo Chief Magistrate Rajeendra Jayasuriya said as the court order was made public by the media and other platforms, the conduct of the Prison Superintendent can be viewed as purposely evading court.
The Chief Magistrate noted the suspect had purposely evaded court noting he had an opportunity to surrender to any police station in Kurunegala.
” It is evident the conduct of the other suspects was also similar and therefore, bail cannot be granted to the suspects,” said the Chief Magistrate noting if bail is granted it would have an impact on the investigations, inquiry process and the witnesses.
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