AG declares war on CID | Sunday Observer

AG declares war on CID

Attorney General Dappula De Livera has again given a sharp dressing down to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) last week, demanding that Acting IGP Chandana Wickremaratne initiate an inquiry into the agency’s failure to respond to his legal advice on how to proceed with the Keith Noyahr abduction and assault case.

The letter issued to the IGP on September 11, which was released to the media by the AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, accused the CID Director of failing to reply to Attorney General De Livera’s letter containing instructions on how the agency should proceed with the Noyahr case. The letter had been dispatched on July 18, 2019, the Attorney General informed the IGP.

“It is extremely unsatisfactory that two months have passed since that letter, and the CID is yet to report progress in the investigations,” the AG’s letter to the Police Chief noted.

“There is no debate that the abduction and attack on journalist Keith Noyahr has garnered both local and international attention. I wish to inform you the fact that the CID has delayed acting on the above instructions to pursue justice for this crime, should be investigated,” the letter to the Acting IGP added.

The AG directed Wickremaratne to submit progress reports on ‘every single point’ contained in his letter, and said he wanted a ‘time bound plan’ on how the investigation would proceed.

In an earlier missive also addressed to the Acting IGP, the Attorney General accused the CID of stalling investigations into five emblematic cases, the Lasantha Wickrematunge murder, the Wasim Thajudeen murder, the abduction for ransom and subsequent murder of 11 youth by Navy personnel, and the attacks on Keith Noyahr and Upali Tennakoon. On that occasion the AG directed the Police Chief to appoint more suitably skilled and efficient investigators to handle these key cases.

Police Headquarters declined to comment on the exchange, citing the confidential nature of communications with the Attorney-General regarding ongoing investigations.

“Anything we say about such matters publicly can be used by defence lawyers at a later trial,” a senior officer told the Sunday Observer.