Ex ASG fails to show up at CID, wants AG’s instructions | Sunday Observer

Ex ASG fails to show up at CID, wants AG’s instructions

7 July, 2019

Former Solicitor General Shavindra Fernando PC has failed to present himself before the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on two occasions, to provide a statement in connection with the Navy abductions case, investigators told the Fort Magistrate’s Court last week.

According to the CID, on both occasions, Fernando had written to the Director of the CID, SSP Shani Abeysekara informing Abeysekara that he would not be able to present himself to provide a statement as requested by the CID.

The facts were presented to court in the CID’s latest B report on the Navy abductions case involving 11 missing youth, on Wednesday, July 3.

In the B-report presented to the Magistrate’s court, the CID noted that it had first requested Fernando PC to visit the CID on April 15 this year. “He did not come and had written to the Director, CID in this regard,” the CID told court.

The CID had then gone on to issue summons on Fernando under Section 109 (6) of the Criminal Procedure Code of 1979 on June 27. In its B-report presented to courts on the day, the CID said Fernando had instead written to Director CID stating the reasons as to why he cannot present himself to provide a statement. A copy of the letter had also been forwarded by Fernando to Attorney General Dappula De Livera, the court was told.

The CID had previously accused Fernando of making direct interventions on behalf of suspects in the case. On February 19, 2015, CID Inspector and lead investigator into the Navy abductions case, Nishantha Silva filed a B Report in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court alleging that Fernando, then an Additional Solicitor General and Navy Judge Advocate, made “direct interventions on behalf of individuals who were responsible for abducting persons for ransom and then making these persons disappear was the particular reason why justice has not yet been served to the aggrieved parties in this particular case.” IP Silva stated in the same report that he had kept the Solicitor General and a Deputy Solicitor General informed of this fact.

In July 2018, Shavindra Fernando, who had since taken early retirement from the Attorney General’s Department, filed a motion in the Magistrate’s Court seeking to compel the CID to strike the lines that mentioned his name from another B Report filed by the CID in February, 2018.

When the motion was taken up in court, Director CID, SSP Shani Abeysekara represented the two CID officers, Nishantha Silva and Chief Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe, who were witnesses in the Habeas Corpus proceeding before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court in relation to the disappearance of the 11 youth.

Abeysekara informed the court that while the criminal investigation into the abduction and murder of the 11 youth was underway, the CID had submitted a detailed report to the Attorney-General and received written instructions to record statements from several Navy officers including Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake.

When the CID wrote to the Navy to produce the suspects, Director Abeysekara claimed Shavindra Fernando summoned the CID officers “in his capacity as Additional Solicitor General” and instructed them “not to summon and question” the navy officer, according to the official transcript of the court proceedings.