BY Pamodi Waravita
Families of the Disappeared President Brito Fernando gave a statement to the Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) on Monday (10), following a complaint the organisation had filed at the CIABOC last year, alleging “reasonable suspicion” that a bribe has been obtained to withdraw the indictment against former Navy Commander Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda, in connection with the case of the Navy being implicated in the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 youths in Colombo in the 2008-2009 period.
“I was asked to give a statement to the CIABOC on 10 January, regarding the complaint I made about Karannagoda. My complaint pointed out a number of reasonable grounds for investigation. Additionally, during my statement, I said that Karannagoda was made the North Western Province Governor last month and raised the question of whether the withdrawal of his indictment was made in relation to that,” Fernando told The Morning.
Fernando added that families of some of the disappeared had been present outside the CIABOC to protest the withdrawal of Karannagoda’s indictment.
Karannagoda was named as an accused in the case filed against a group of naval intelligence officers pertaining to the alleged enforced disappearance of 11 youths in Colombo in 2008 and 2009.
On 4 August 2020, the Attorney General (AG) had informed the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar not to, temporarily, proceed with the indictment against Karannagoda, as the Court of Appeal had, in connection with a writ petition filed by Karannagoda, issued an interim order, halting the hearing of the indictment filed against him. On 13 October 2020, the AG had again informed the Court of Appeal that the indictment against Karannagoda will not proceed, when the writ petition filed by Karannagoda against naming him as an accused in this case was taken up before the Court of Appeal.
The Families of the Disappeared filed their complaint with the CIABOC in August 20