By Saman Indrajith
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, yesterday, told Parliament that Makandure Madush, a notorious underworld drug kingpin who was arrested in Dubai on Tuesday would be prosecuted under the laws of that country first.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that the courts of United Arab Emirates would decide whether Madush would be deported to Sri Lanka.
He said so in answer to a question raised by JVP Kalutara District MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa.
Dr Jayatissa: Drug kingpin Makandure Madush was arrested in a joint raid conducted by STF and the Dubai Police, on Tuesday. That shows the extraordinary talent and strength of our STF officials. We have all the talent we need. But even then the government has failed to bring former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran, former Sri Lanka Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunge and former Sri Lanka Ambassador to US Jaliya Wickramasutiya back to the country. Could you explain why?”
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe: “They have to be first prosecuted in the Courts in the countries where they are now. Those Courts have to take the final decision on them. This person (Makandure Madush) will have to face the same procedure.”
Dr Jayatissa said that many Sri Lankans accused of theft, stealing,murders, money laundering, financial misappropriation in Lankan courts are now living abroad and asked the government what action it would take to bring them here to stand trial.
Dr Jayatissa also demanded to know from the Prime Minister the number of such persons against whom warrants had been issued and details of the crimes they were alleged to have committed.
Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that details of such persons had to be obtained from 32 high courts and 49 magistrate courts and the Attorney General had informed him that it would take some more time. The PM said he would table those details in Parliament once the Attorney General sent them to him. “The usual course of action with regard to those who abscond and flee abroad is to alert INTERPOL, which would then issue Red Notices on them. That process is initiated on the basis of a court order. If any such suspect is taking refuge in a country, with which Sri Lanka has signed an extradition agreement, then we will make a request of extradition through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Those are the actions available to the government. The action will have to be taken on case by case basis.”