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 court suspends lanka e news

court suspends lanka e news

2011 Apr 29

The Lanka e News website was suspended from yesterday on contempt of court charges after it published a news item on the court proceedings relating to a person who died while in police custody.

Pugoda Magistrate Aravinda Perera made this order to the Sri Lanka Telecommunication Regulation Commission (TRC) when the Kirindiwela police filed a charge sheet alleging that the news website had acted in contempt of court  when it published the news item on April 19.

The Magistrate also dismissed the bail application made on behalf of its journalist Shantha Wijesuriya and further remanded him till May 12.

Lawyers appearing for the journalist pleaded not guilty to the charge and asked that Mr. Wijesuriya be granted bail as the police investigation was over and the offence was bailable.

They said that following journalistic ethics, the website had published three corrections relating to the same story.   He also directed the Sri Lanka Telecommunation Regulatory Commission (TRC) to stop the services of the website within the country until the court proceeding was over. 

Mr. Wijesuriya was arrested by the Kirindiwela police on a directive made by the Pugoda Magistrate and additional District Judge W. Aravinda Perera. Kirindiwela Inspector K.E.N. Dilruk told court a news item that appeared in the Lanka e-News Website headlined, “The AG had released two but the courts have not heeded to this order” on April 19 was prejudicial towards a case which is being heard at the Pugoda Courts.

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