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Lanka E-news lawyers ask courts to handle investigation

Lanka E-news lawyers ask courts to handle investigation

2011 Feb 19

The Lanka E-news website, which suffered an arson attack last month by an unidentified group, complained to the Kaduwela Magistrate that it has no confidence in the independence of the police investigation, and requested that be taken over by the courts.

Counsel Manjula Pathiraja who appeared with Namal Rajapaksa and Hemapala Ekanayake for the website, informed Kaduwela Chief Magistrate Ms. Janaki de Alwis that with the arson attack at dawn on January 31 the entire office together with its library, computers and other equipment were gutted, and the total damage caused amounted to Rs. 11 million.

The counsel stated that there is no assurance that the police would conduct an impartial inquiry into the attack, and requested that the investigation be taken over by the Magistrate.

“Instead of arresting the real culprits behind the attack, the police had arrested two innocents. The reason for this attack is that Lanka E-news was unraveling the truth and informing the public on what is happening in Sri Lanka,” the counsel said.

When the case was called, two suspects G. M. Susantha alias ‘Susa’ and Udeni Sisira Jayalath alias ‘Bhuthaya’, arrested for allegedly carrying out the attack, were granted bail by the Magistrate. They were granted Rs. 300,000 personal bail with sureties following bail applications filed by Counsel Sandya Thalduwa and Kamal Wijesiri.

Supporting the bail application the counsel had stated that the suspects were ordinary innocent citizens and they did not even know what Lanka Enews was or where it was located.

“Without any reason they have been in remand for last two weeks and the police had not done any investigation into the alleged attack,” counsel for the suspects said.  Having heard the submission the Magistrate granted bail on the two suspects.

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