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Colombo Swiss Embassy Employee Garnier Bannister Francis Released on Bail by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne; Court Bans Foreign Travel and Orders Surrender of Passport;Next Date of Hearing on Jan 9th 2020

Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday released on bail Garnier Bannister Francis, the local employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo allegedly involved in a fake abduction case.

Francis was granted bail on two personal sureties of Rs 500,000 each.

The Court temporarily banned foreign travel of the defendant and asked her passport to be surrendered to the court. The court also directed a private phone company to submit phone records of the defendant, her husband and the teacher of her daughter.

The Defence Counsel undertook to hand over a mobile phone belonging to the husband of the defendant to the CID.

Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara told the court that there was a possibility that the defendant might receive political asylum through the Swiss Embassy and abscond since the mother of the suspect and her three children had already left for Switzerland.

Defence Attorney Upul Kumarapperuma told court the mother of the defendant and the three children were currently in Singapore on vacation and would be back before the commencement of the next school term.

The CID told the court that it had obtained the information through its branch at the airport, when the Magistrate inquired from the CID how it had found that Garnier’s family members were in Switzerland.

Recording the statement of the Defence Counsel that the relevant persons were on vacation in Singapore, the Magistrate said that the defendant’s bail application could not be rejected solely based on that point.

Accordingly, the Magistrate granted bail to the defendant and set the next date of hearing as Jan 09.

Francis was arrested on Dec 16 by the CID and produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on the directions of the Attorney General. The Attorney General advised the Director of the CID to arrest and produce the relevant staffer before the courts over two charges.

Courtesy:The Island