The Attorney General will file indictments before the Colombo High Court against former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and 13 other suspects.
They are accused of being involved in the abduction and forced disappearance of 11 youth in 2009.
Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara made this remark when the magisterial inquiry into the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth was taken up before court yesterday.
SSC Bandara further informed court that the CID had begun investigations into the abduction and disappearance of 11 youth based on a written complaint by the then Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda to the CID DIG on May 28, 2009, against his personal security officer, then Lt. Commander Nilantha Sampath Munasinghe, following which the CID was able to unravel the Navy’s involvement in the abductions.
Attorney Niroshan Perera appearing on behalf of Lt. Commander Nilantha Sampath Munasinghe informed court that the CID had detained his client for one year under CID custody. Counsel Perera stated that his client was granted bail on June 10, 2010 over this case.
Responding to that, SSC Janaka Bandara stated that the suspect Sampath Munasinghe was arrested in 2009, under section 355 of the Penal Code and the Explosive Ordnance Act.
The Magistrate observed that a magistrate’s court has jurisdiction to grant bail for a person who was arrested under section 355 of the Penal Code and the Explosive Ordnance Act.
Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Rathnayake who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General Department in 2017, informed court that there was no sufficient evidence to remand Sampath Munasinghe under section 296 of the Criminal Procedure code, Attorney Niroshan Perera stated.
SSC Bandara also stated that the CID is currently investigating the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths and several Navy personnel have been arrested in this connection, including the former Navy Spokesman D.K.P. Dassanayake.
Those abducted were Kasthuriarachchilage John Rit alias John, Rajiv Naganathan alias Malli, Pradeep Vishvanathan, Tillakeshwaran Ramalingam, Mohomed Sajith, Jamamdeen Dilan, Amalan Leon, Roshan Leon, Antony Kasthuriarachchi, Thyagaraja Jegan and Mohomed Ali Anver alias Hajiya.
SSC Bandara further informed the court that one of abducted, Ali Anver, was an informant for this intelligence group.Those eight abducted youths had been taken to the ‘Gun Side camp’, located within the Ocean Science Faculty premises of the Naval Command in Trincomalee, from where they were held at the naval camp in Colombo Fort. In Colombo Fort they had been kept in the ‘Pittu Bambuwa’ jail under Lt.Commander Hettiarachchi.
The Magistrate observed that the CID had filed murder charges against the former Lt. Commander Sampath Munasinghe and others under the section 296 of the Criminal Procedure code. The Magistrate further stated that a magistrate’s court has no jurisdiction to grant bail.
The Magistrate further stated that there is no necessity to cancel the previous bail of Sampath Munasinghe. Considering the submissions made by the defence counsel, the Magistrate remanded Sampath Munasinghe over the murder charges filed against him.
The arrested suspects were identified as Lieutenant Commander Nilantha Sampath Munasinghe, Navy officer Anton Fernando and Chief Petty Officer Samapath Janaka Kumara, former Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias ‘Navy Sampath,’ Imbulana Liyanage Chaminda Kumara alias “Annachi” and Dilantha Senarathne.
Former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda filed a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court seeking an Interim Order preventing the CID from arresting him. Former Navy Spokesman Commodore D.K.P. Dassanayake and five others were accused of aiding and abetting in the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009.
The Magistrate ordered to remand the suspect till March 19.