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DIG further remanded and Wife also told to appear in courts

2013 Jun 27

By Samantha Illeperuma

Former DIG Vass Gunawardena who was remanded for his alleged role in the abduction and killing of a wealthy businessman from Bambalapitiya was further remanded till July 09 when he was produced yesterday before Additional Magistrate Colombo A.M.Sahabdeen.

The wife of the former police officer was ordered to appear before court on July 09 following a request made by the CID to court to warn her against influencing witnesses.

The CID told court that the former police officer’s wife had telephoned the wife of Constable Gamini Sarathchandra who is one of the accused in this case and attempted to influence her. The wife of the Constable complained of the incident to Kotawehera police, the CID told court.

When the case was called the prison officers presented the suspect before Court. The CID’s Head of the Special Investigations Unit Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe and ASP Shani Abeysekera led evidence.

The prosecution named the double cab used to abduct victim Mohamed Shiyam, a van, the mobile phone used by him (victim), a hammer and a screwdriver used to destroy it and two pistols issued to the suspect.

ASP Abeysekera requested court to send the productions to the Government Analyst.

ASP Shani Abeysekera also requested the court to send samples of the blood stains found in the rear seat of the vehicle which was used to abduct the victim for a DNA test to GINTEC and to order the Superintendent of Prisons to allow them to record further statements from the suspect while in remand custody.

The CID requested court to release the statement made by another suspect Constable Gamini Sarathchandra for further investigations and said that the fact that another suspect in the case Fouzdeen had destroyed Shiyam’s mobile phone had been corroborated by a statement made by witness Shaul Hameed.

He said that on the advise of the Attorney General the CID would annexe the case filed before the Pugoda Magistrate Court to the case before this court.

He said there were six suspects detained in connection with the murder of Mohamed Shiyam.

The ASP further told court that the wife of the former DIG using his mobile phone had called the wife of suspect Gamini Sarathchandra 25 times.

She had asked Sarathchandra’s wife whether her husband was becoming a State witness and if Sarathchandra gave evidence against Vass Gunawardena, the ASP said.

Defence Counsels Attorneys-at-law Anuja Premaratane and Ajith Pathirana said that the procedure involved in arresting the former DIG was a contravention of law and hitherto there was no independent evidence against him.

They told court that an attempt had been made to claim that the biggest criminal in the country was a policeman and top brass of the police should be ashamed of themselves if the crime was committed with their knowledge, Counsel Pathirana said.

Officers such as Gunawardena who contributed immensely to curb the crime wave in the country and brought honour and fame to the police should not be humiliated and harassed in this manner on personal issues, he said.

Counsel appearing for the victim’s family Asitha Perera told court that the police had failed to take into custody persons who have been named as suspects by the police in their reports and pay attention of the court to the fact that the Attorney General’s advise or intervention had not been sought as in other cases.

The judge ordered the Superintendent of prisons to allow the CID to obtain statements from suspect Vass Gunawardena.

He also inquired whether the wife of Gunawardena was present in court at the time.

The judge said that he will not issue an order to obtain statements from witnesses of the prosecution and ordered the prison official to provide the necessary security to suspect Vaas Gunawardena.


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