Solicitor General in hot water over leaked audio? | Sunday Observer

Solicitor General in hot water over leaked audio?

22 September, 2019

Attorney General Dappula De Livera will refer the matter of a leaked telephone conversation allegedly between the chairman of the controversial private security firm Avant Garde and the former Director General of the Bribery Commission, to the Public Service Commission (PSC) tomorrow, his office told Sunday Observer.

The move comes as the former Bribery Commission Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe finally broke her silence on her personal Facebook account last week, posing counter questions to Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi who admitted he had leaked the conversation. “As a public officer I am not permitted to make public or press statements, Wickremasinghe noted, adding that Senadhipathi should reveal the entire telephone conversation without editing, doctoring and distorting the contents. “Secondly, please disclose to the public the name of the Minister whose telephone you called and the reasons why the said minister passed the telephone to me,” the post added.

Senadhipathi, who was recently indicted at the Permanent High Court at Bar for money laundering and a host of other charges, was first indicted at the Magistrate’s Court in a case investigated during Wickremasinghe’s tenure as DG of the Bribery Commission. The leaked telephone conversation spread like wildfire and sent shock waves, especially given the current Solicitor General’s unimpeachable reputation as an officer of integrity and courage within the Department, and one of the most dynamic Director Generals to have ever served at the Bribery Commission.

Dilrukshi Dias Wickremasinghe currently serves as Solicitor General of Sri Lanka, the second highest ranked prosecutor at the Attorney General’s Department.

Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said the Attorney General was not empowered to conduct disciplinary inquiries since Wickremasinghe was such a senior official at the Department.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, the coordinating officer State Counsel Nishara Jayarathne said that this decision was taken since it is the PSC that has authority to conduct an inquiry.

“The PSC is our disciplinary authority. Therefore, we will request the PSC to hold a preliminary inquiry in terms of the establishment code and to appoint a suitable person to look into the matter immediately,” she said.

Meanwhile addressing a function yesterday President Maithripala Sirisena said that if the SG was coerced to speak take the call by a minister she should reveal all relevant information.

The President went on to state that the Prime Minister wrote to him few months back suggesting the SG’s name to a position of a Superior Court justice. President however said that he was not in favour of this idea.

“Given the information that has surfaced I can clearly say that she was never suitable to be appointed as a justice,” the President said.On Friday (20) after the leaked audio caused an uproar Justice Minister Thalatha Athukorale said yesterday that after the authenticity of the leak is verified, clarification would be sought from the Attorney General on the matter.

Senadhipathi released a recorded telephone conversation with a female he purports to be Wickremasinghe, who was expressing remorse over filing action against the Avant Garde floating armoury in response to the Chairman’s complaints about problems faced by the company’s staff as a result of the legal action.

A particularly incriminating part of the leaked audio features the female voice claiming that she knew how to “break and make the law” and that she would not have filed a case against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.