AG Officials Involved In Legal Swindles

  • Bid to release former Navy Spokesman under youth abduction charges…

by Nirmala Kannangara

Wasantha Karannagoda, Dassanayake, along with certain Navy officers, in whose custody the abducted youth were held at the Gunside Underground Prison in Trincomalee and The ‘B’ Report submitted to courts by the CID

Damning evidence has now come to the fore as to how two senior officers at the Attorney General’s Department had attempted to favour former Navy Spokesman D. K. P. Dassanayake, who is under arrest in youth abduction, when his bail application was taken up in the High Court a few weeks ago despite of their client – the Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) objection.

At the High Court the same day, before the bail application was taken up, Dassanayake had already received information from the Attorney General’s (AG) Department that AG would not object bail for Dassanayake indicating how the suspect had penetrated the department and its work at the highest level.

The morning Dassanayake was to be produced before High Court, State Counselor Lakmini Giriyagama is alleged to have called the CID investigation officer and had told that the Attorney General (AG) had decided not to object the bail application. Deputy Solicitor General, Dilan Ratnayake and State Counselor, Lakmini Giriyagama had tried to get bail for Dassanayake without considering their client – the CID’s cause, misleading the CID Investigation Officer that the decision not to object bail for the suspect was a decision made by the AG.

Reliable sources from the AG’s Department told this newspaper as to how the former Navy Spokesman was closely involved with the media and AG’s Department during the suspect’s ‘good old’ days at Sri Lanka Navy.

“The State Counselor, who is appearing in this case, is taking advice from one of the former AGs who had many links with the Navy. That was why the Deputy Solicitor General and the State Counselor attempted not to object granting bail to Dassanayake,” a senior officer from the AG’s Department told The Sunday Leader.

Following Giriyagama’s disputed and surprising call, the Investigation Officer on the request of the Director CID and the IGP had an urgent meeting with AG Jayantha Jayasuriya who denied that the Department had taken such a decision. It is learnt that the AG had summoned both Ratnayake and Giriyagama and had reprimanded them for their conduct in the presence of Senior Additional Solicitor General, Dappula de Livera.  These two had pleaded that it was a misunderstanding and that they will object bail.

When the bail application was heard, Giriyagama is said to have kept to the letter of her word given to the AG by verbally objecting bail being granted tendering to court the CID letter that listed out the details why bail could not be granted.

However unbelievably, Giriyagama in open court took various aspects of the CID letter that listed out the details why bail cannot be granted, criticized the submissions made by her client the CID.

According to an experienced lawyer at the Department, this is the first known instance of a law officer at the AG’s Department, who criticized a submission made by their client in open courts rather than acting in the best interest of the client.

Despite of the attempts made to weaken the case and lengthy submission made by Dassanayake’s lawyers had jumped at the decision pointed out by Giriyagama in favour of the accused, the judge denied bail for the suspect.

“Under the supervision of Senior Additional Solicitor General, Dappula de Livera on a previous occasion, senior member of the AG’s Department, Shavindra Silva was forced to resign from the Department following an expose by the CID how Silva had attempted to obstruct justice and tamper with the case on an earlier occasion against Navy officers as Silva too was having close connections with the Navy. It is surprising how the AG, amidst the controversy, has not yet removed Ratnayake and Giriyagama from the Navy abduction case although there is clear evidence how they were trying to get bail for the accused disrespecting the AG’s stance,” the sources who wished to remain anonymous said.

WhenAttorney General Jayantha Jaysuriya was contacted to find out as to why he failed to remove Dilan Ratnayake and Lakmini Giriyagama from appearing for CID against the Navy abduction case, the Attorney General said that he cannot make any comment to the media on internal matters.

However, a leading legal luminary, who wished to remain anonymous, said that if any officer from the AG’s Department had made such a serious attempt, the AG has the full authority to remove him/her immediately. “It is the AG’s Department that looks after the interest of all government institutions. How can certain individuals curry favour with suspects and help them out to get away from the legal net. It is surprising as to why the AG is still allowing Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake and State Counselor Lakmini Giriyagama to appear in this particular case. The Attorney General should have immediately removed these two and appointed honourable officers,” the legal luminary said. Meanwhile a high ranking officer from the AG’s Department on condition of anonymity told The Sunday Leader that Giriyagama’s conduct was a disgrace to the Department and added that it was a surprise as to why the Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya allowed Ratnayake and Giriyagama to appear in the case after reprimanding them.

“Knowing well that Giriyagama, who is known to a former Attorney General who had close links with the Navy, was taking his advice and that was the reason why she called the CID to tell that the AG wanted her not to object on the bail conditions, what was the reason for the AG to allow them to appear in the case. Now it is a known secret as to how Giriyagama, while objecting for former Navy Spokesman’s bail, went ahead with outlining the CID’s loopholes,” sources added.

Meanwhile, startling details have now come out how the Navy suspects, who are now in remand prison over the abduction of eleven youth from Dehiwela, Kotahena and Trincomalee between August 2008 and May 2009, have planned a plot to assassinate OIC Gang Robbery Bureau of the CID, IP, Nishantha Silva who is conducting investigations.

IP Silva is also conducting investigations into the killings of the Editor in Chief of The Sunday Leader newspaper, Lasantha Wickrematunge, and the abduction and assault on senior journalists Upali Tennakoon and Keithe Noyhar, to name a few.

The assassination plot had been planned by these suspects at the prison hospital while taking ‘treatments’ although they are neither seen by a doctor nor given any medications for their ‘illnesses’, it is learnt.

An inmate, who was genuinely under treatment at the prison hospital at the time of the assassination plot had taken place, had lodged a complaint with the CID recently and had told how Kariyawasam Hewage Nalin Wickremasooriya and Thilakaratnage Lakshman Udaya Kumara, who are accused in the abduction, were plotting out a plan to murder IP Silva through their Navy colleagues who are roaming freely.

“After the arrest of this person in Wellawatte, he had been sent to the prison hospital as he was a diabetic patient. According to him, all the Navy and Army officers who are under arrest over the abduction and murder cases were ‘resting’ at the prison hospital claiming to be sick but were not on medication other than Duminda Silva. We were told that even the doctors do not visit these ‘patients’ and the Army and Navy were providing them with the best of food. It was during this period that these Navy and Army officers were discussing as to how it is difficult for them to get bail as long as IP Nishantha Silva is handling the cases and that he should be murdered immediately through their colleagues who are outside. After this particular person was granted bail, he lodged the complaint with the police in order to safeguard the investigator. If the allegation is proved, it will further support the abduction case,” sources added.

Meanwhile, CID had further unearthed more evidence against Dassanayake into his involvement in the abductions despite the Joint Opposition’s (JO) accusation against the CID for hunting war heroes despite of the then Chief of National Intelligence Maj. Gen. Kapila Hendawitharana ’s statement made to this newspaper a few months ago that it was the then Defence Secretary that gave instructions to start investigations into Navy abductions following receiving complaints from the then Navy Commander Vasantha Karannagoda. “I cannot remember when we gave this instruction to the CID but as per the directives of the then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa we wanted them to carry out a full probe into the abductions as we came to know it was done on a personal agenda,” Maj. Gen. Hendawitharana said.

It was on a complaint lodged to the CID by the then Navy Commander Vasantha Karannagoda on May 28, 2009 against his personal security officer, Sampath Munasinghe for his alleged involvement with the LTTE, the gruesome abduction of these 11 youth including five students from Kotahena who were between 17 and 18 years were able to uncover. If not, it would have been buried unnoticed.

According to the ‘B’ report submitted to the court by the CID, on the instructions of the Navy Commander, Director Navy Captain Senara Hanwella, Lt. K. A. M. Pushpa Kumara and K. P. A. C. Kumara had inspected Munasinghe’s  quarters at the Navy Headquarters Colombo on May 26, 2009. A valid passport bearing number N 1431844 belonged to Stanly Lyon, and four national identity cards  belonged to K. A. Anton (601772809 V), Thygarajah Jegan (790683021 V), Stanley Lyon (584201179 V) and S. A. Roshan (870232713 V) with many other items including live cartridges, mobile phones, a credit card and SIM cards had been found. These items had been handed over to the CID by the Navy officers for further investigation on May 30, 2009 subsequent to the complaint lodged by the Navy Commander.

“When the CID was conducting the inquiry with the produced items, they found out that the four owners of the NICs and the passport had been abducted the year before and had no trace of them. Further investigations revealed that the passport bearing No. N 1431844 and the NIC 582401179 V were of Stanley Lyon of 47/1, Arippu East, Arippu. He had come to Colombo with his son Amalan Lyon (NIC 870232713 V) and a foreigner Mike Bhogan to obtain a visa to the United Kingdom and had stayed at 82/73C, Ramanathan Flats, Kotahena, Colombo 13. Both father and son had been abducted on August 25, 2008 by an unidentified armed gang. Records of these two had been maintained by Dassanayake’s office according to the evidence received by the CID,” sources alleged.

Meanwhile former Navy Commander Vasantha Karannagoda too is facing arrest, according to a highly reliable defence source as the former commander, although lodged the first complaint against his personal security officer Sampath Munasinghe knew about the youth abductions although he did not act against it.

“When former Minister Felix Perera wrote to Karannagoda requesting to release the youth that was abducted, the latter did not take any action. Giving evidence, Sampath Munasinghe had told the CID these abductions had been carried out by Lt. Com. Hettiarachchi and Lt. Com. Ranasinghe and the then Navy Commander was well aware of it. Based on evidence what the investigators have now gathered, it is alleged that the former Navy Commander too is to be arrested soon,” sources added.

According to the further ‘B’ report submitted to the Fort Magistrate on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, a statement had been recorded from Commodore (NRE 0226) Udaya Keerthi Wijaya Bandara, who was Consultant on Naval Affairs to the then Navy Commander. In his statement, Bandara had stated that he had come to know through Captain (NX 0233) Jagath Jayantha Ranasinghe that Sampath Munasinghe had abducted five students in Dehiwela and had asked a ransom of one million rupees from the families to release these students. This information had then been conveyed to the then Commander on May 10, 2009 and since Karannagoda had suspected Munasinghe, he had instructed Director Intelligence Sri Lanka Navy Mr. Guruge to start an internal inquiry against Munasinghe.

Captain Jagath Ranasinghe had forwarded the names of the five abducted students – Pradeep Vishvanathan, Thilakeshwaran Ramalingam, Rajiv Naganathan, Mohommed Jilan Jamaldeen and Mohommed Saajith to Commodore Udaya Keerthi Wijaya Bandara through an SMS. Captain Ranasinghe, meanwhile, had inquired from one of his friends Raman Prabhakaran alias Prabha in Kotahena about the abduction. It was Prabha who had shed the lights on how the abductors had wanted one of the students – Rajiv Naganathan’s parents to pay Rs. 10 million ransom, which had been brought down to one million rupees. The abductors had told the Naganathan family that the money is required to one Sampath, a person working so closer to the Navy Commander.

On these revelations, the CID had questioned two Navy soldiers Aluth Gedara Upul Bandara and Lakshman Udaya Kumara, who had worked for Munasinghe and in their statement they have confirmed that they worked under Sampath Munasinghe. According to their statement, it was Munasinghe in 2008 that had called them and had wanted to abduct a group of five suspects that were coming to Badowita in Dehiwela in a black car at 10pm on that particular day. As directed by Munasinghe, Upul Bandara and Lakshman Udaya Kumara had abducted the five ‘suspects’ together with the black colour car and had handed them over to Munasinghe who took them in a white van.

Meanwhile Lt. Commander Sumith Ranasinghe of Sri Lanka Navy, Welisara in his evidence to the CID had stated that he was informed by Navy soldier Bandara that the five that had been abducted by Sumith Munasinghe had been killed and thrown to the Kelani River. Meanwhile B. M. Wijayakantha (able seaman VAS 68653) in his statement had said that he knew how Ranasinghe shot at the detainees, tied their lifeless bodies in concrete poles and threw them to the mid sea.

Ranhavadi Durayalage Priyankara (Navy Seaman VA 59652) in his evidence had stated that he worked under Lt. Com. Ranasinghe and in the Naval base he worked, there were underground prisons where LTTE suspects were detained and it was Ranasinghe who headed the Navy Special Intelligence Unit and Rajiv Naganathan, Pradeep Vishwanathan, Dilan, Sajith, Ramalingam, Jegan, Amalin Lyon, Stanley Lyon, John Reet, Antony and even Ali Anvar who gave the tip off to abduct the five students were detained in the underground ‘gunside’ prison. He has also stated that he can identify those detainees if seen again and when the CID showed the photographs, had identified all of them and had confirmed that all of them were under Lt. Com. Ranasinghe’s custody.

8 Comments for “AG Officials Involved In Legal Swindles”

  1. Bhathiya Siriwaruma

    A friend of mine who is domiciled in Singapore once told me if the law enforcement in sri lanka be granted to the singaporean cops for a month 90% of all sri lankan cops will end up behind bars.Given this back drop Honest officers like IP Nishantha Silva are trailblazers who upkeep and uplift the 125 year old image of SL Police.It is people’s duty to protect and rally behind officers like this .Because once these type of officers are gone and froced out of their jobs ,there will be no one to protect the down trodden in this country.

  2. punchinilame

    Congratulations for the partial investigative reporting. I missed the juicy part as
    to why the Navy Commander took the complaint to the CID, when he would
    have known that he himself would be involved – possibly they were under MR
    command and did not for a moment think matters would shift on8th Jany. This
    Case is one proof that these so called war-heroes were MURDERERS after all.
    MS – pl. note

    • Nihal

      What can happen in a war, It is just killings, what do you expect these people to during a war every criminal who died of war is a incent guy. who killed them for the sake of the security of country men are murdeerers.

  3. NAK

    Actually the real abductors are out on bail. These officers were arrested on framed charges to please their masters in Geneva.
    Criminals who are incarcerated in prison will say anything they are asked to say in order to gain bail.

  4. DESHAPREMIYA

    READING THE INVOLEMENT OG AG’S DEPT OFFICIALS WE CAN ONLY
    ASK” WHO IS TO GUARD THE GUARDIANS”

    IF THIS IS HOW THINGS WORK THE MINISTER MUST BE IMPEACHED
    HE MUST RESIGN IF DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HIS SUBORDINATES ARE UP TO

    HE HIMSELF HAS BEEN CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH AVANT GARD CHIEF SINCE ALL PHOTOS WERE PUBLISHED IN THE PAPERS DURING HIS TOUR OF USA

    SHAME ON YOU

  5. Jude

    We all know that MS openly supporting the murderers . The main culprit in the AGs Department. is Dappula de Livera .He is on the pay of the Rajapakse brothers . Its time he is interdicted and investigated for personal assets and involvement in the cases relating to the previous regime. The AGs Department is the most corrupt Department in the country.

  6. P.Sooriaperuma

    The lives of Tamils do not matter in the Socialist democratic Republic of Sri Lanka.I I recall the old saying”when thieves fall out , the truth will come out. Because the victims were Tamils, the joint opposition vociferously opposes any lawful attempt to bring these dastardly criminals to book. These heinous crimes were committed when most of the members of the Joint Opposition were in the ruling government.The top commanders and influential ministers at the relevant time, would have received their share of the ransom monies. Definitely there was collusion and hence the J.O’s strong opposition to the ongoing investigation and arrest of these scums and thugs in uniform . The rebel group from the minority race and asizable portion of the Tamil civilians were decimated with the help of many super powers of the world in the war . What actually did these dastardly murderers do to deserve the honour of being regarded as war heroes? Even the mere thought is laughable. The fact that they are enjoying many priviledges whilst on remand ‘custody” shows that these so called war heroes and their political patrons will not be punished for their evil inhuman and barbaric deeds. They are in fact, above the law.

    • P.Sooriaperuma

      My dear Nihal,

      Noted your half wit comment with amusement . Surely , you have not heard of the Geneva Convention. Would u say the same thing , had this happened to your kith & kin. You forget that we are living in a country where even Christian politicians convert to Buddhism to further their political career. Unlike those people, be a sincere and true Buddhist and condemn atrocities against innocent civilians.

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