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SLFP: Will take legal action against FCID procedure

2015 May 07

The Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) would take legal action against the procedure adopted by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) to question and prosecute suspects referred to it by the Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

General Secretary of the UPFA Susil Premajayantha told media today that the entire process of recording statements and producing suspects in courts was biased, unethical and illegal.

“It is the Cabinet Sub-Committee, Chaired by Wickremesinghe that takes the final decision, whether or not to take action against politicians and officials served under the previous regime. The Cabinet Sub-Committee also decides on the actions to be taken on each suspect.
“The FCID records statements and decides whether to file charges against them, refer the file to the Attorney General or the Bribery Commission or let them go free on the directive of the Cabinet Sub-Committee, which is entirely a political witch-hunt never witnessed in Sri Lanka’s political history,” Premajayantha charged.  

Premajayantha said the SLFP had educated President Maithripala Sirisena on this dangerous trend and President Sirisena had promised to look into the issue.

“We have information that this ad-hoc Cabinet Sub-Committee has been appointed at a Cabinet meeting not attended by President Sirisena,” he said.

Explaining the alleged biased procedure adopted by the FCID, Premajayantha said former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa had been produced before the Kaduwela Magistrate by FCID with an incomplete statement which had asked the Magistrate to put the suspect in remand custody claiming further statements had to be recorded.

“How can a Police officer request a Magistrate to put a suspect in remand custody with an incomplete statement? It is illegal and unethical,” Premajayantha said.
He charged that the FCID was following the legal provisions used by the Defence Secretary in 1980 under Emergency Regulations at a time of normalcy.

Premajayantha said empowering a politician to take action against his or her political opponents was nothing else but political witch-hunt.

“It is against the law, against democratic traditions and against all accepted norms of good governance and fair play.

“Our legal experts are in the process of preparing now. We firmly believe that we can prove the bias and illegality of this process. We never demand to dismantle the FCID or not to take action against any politician, who has a prima-facie case against him or her. What we oppose is the politicisation of the procedure and political witch hunt using the FCID as a tool,” Premajayantha said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana and Colombo District Parliamentarian Thilanga Sumathipala also participated in the news briefing. Pic. by Lahiru Harshana.(Sandun A Jayasekera)

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