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Gampaha High Court grants bail to former CID Director and SI Sugath Mendis

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Bailed out by CoA earlier but re-remanded as bail conditions not submitted to court

Former director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) SSP Shani Abeysekara and Sub-Inspector Sugath Mohana Mendis were released on bail by the Gampaha High Court on Thursday after bail conditions imposed by the Court of Appeal were fulfilled.

Gampaha High Court Number 2 Judge S. Y. Mapa Bandara ordered the Superintendents of the Welikada and Mahara prisons to release the two suspects.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeal released SSP Abeysekara and SI Mendis on cash bail of Rs 25,000 and two personal bonds of one million rupees each.

The two-member Court of Appeal bench comprising Justice Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne and Justice Ratnapriya Gurusinghe made this order pursuant to revision applications filed on behalf of the two suspects seeking an order to enlarge them on bail.

Court also rescinded the December 9, 2020 order by the Gampaha High Court refusing bail to the two suspects.

However, later in the day, Gampaha Chief Magistrate Manjula Karunaratne directed that the former CID director and two other suspects be further remanded till June 30, 2021, as their bail conditions had not been submitted in writing to court.

Abeysekara and SI Mendis are accused of fabricating evidence in a case filed against former DIG Vass Gunawardena, his son and six other suspects over the alleged possession of firearms.

Prison officers informed the Chief Magistrate that the suspects were not produced in court due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation.

Counsel Srinath Seneviratne appearing on behalf of Navaratne Prematilleka, one of the suspects, said that the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) has not completed recording the statement of his client who has remained in remand custody for 280 days.

CCD Inspector D. J. Nishantha, who appeared in Court in response to summons issued, said the long statements given by the suspect resulted in the delay in concluding the process.

The Chief Magistrate directed the CCD to record the suspect’s statement over three days during the next two weeks at the Mahara prison and report the progress in this regard to Court on June 30.

The third suspect in this case is Nishantha de Silva, a former Inspector of the CID, who is now overseas. However, there was no mention of him during the day’s proceedings.

The Court of Appeal directed that Abeysekara’s passport and any other travel document be surrendered to the Gampaha High Court and that he should not leave the country without prior permission of Court. Any change of residence should also be notified to Court.

The two suspects who were arrested by the police in July 2020 have been in remand custody since then.

Representing the Attorney General’s Department, Additional Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya objected to bail being granted to the two suspects. Overruling the objections, Court released them on bail.

Under the direction of Counsel, Gowri Sangari Thavarasa, attorney-at-law Viran Corea appeared on behalf of Shani Abeysekara, while attorneys Isuru Gamage, Hafeel Fariz and Vigaswari Jayatilleka led by senior counsel Chaminda Athukorala represented the second suspect, Sugath Mendis.

Earlier, the Gampaha High Court rejected a revision application filed by the two suspects seeking bail. Later, they moved the Court of Appeal to reverse the order.



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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