19 April, 2024


After Avoiding Case For Months AG Descends On High Court, Objects To Shani’s Bail Application

After months of failing to make representations in the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court where SSP Shani Abeysekera has been arrested on charges of fabricating evidence, the Attorney General swept in to make strong objections in the Gampaha High Court where the former CID director’s bail application was being taken up on Wednesday.

The hearing took place days after Shani Abeysekera reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.

Attorney General Dappula

It also comes in the wake of the AG agreeing to bail for Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan alias Pillaiyan, a SLPP MP who was in remand on charges of assassinating TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham at Christmas Mass in Batticaloa in 2005.

Grave concerns have been raised about Abeysekera’s safety after he was transferred to a military installation in Polonnaruwa from the Mahara Prison where he has been in remand since August 2020. Abeysekera is being held on charges of planting firearms in order to frame ex DIG and contract killer Vaas Gunewardane for the murder of businessman Mohammed Shiyam.

The Gampaha High Court will decide on whether bail is to be granted to Shani Abeysekera and police sergeant Sugath Mendis who has been arrested in connection with the same case on December 7, more than a week away.

Lawyers for the former CID Chief are expressing serious concerns about Abeysekera’s treatment protocols and diagnosis because he suffers from several underlying conditions that have resulted in death for other corona virus patients in Sri Lanka, including diabetes and high blood pressure.

The AG has struggled to determine its position on the CCD investigation into alleged complaint that Abeysekera planted evidence to frame Vaas Gunewardane because the department secured a successful conviction of a death sentence against the former top cop in that case. For months the AG’s Department has avoided sending state counsel to the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court claiming that the investigation file was yet to reach the department.

But legal observers pointed out that the AG was perhaps fearful that in the current political climate, progress on the fabrication of evidence charge could get its prosecution overturned. A determination of a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court which heard Vaas Gunewardane’s appeal is still pending.

Shani Abeysekara

During proceedings at the Gampaha High Court where Abeysekera’s bail application is being heard President’s Counsel Wasantha Navaratne Bandara, appearing for the former CID director called the AG out on the department’s conduct in this investigation. Interestingly Navaratne Bandara himself is a former AG’s Department prosecutor.

“Since the day Abeysekera and Mendis were arrested we have told the Magistrate’s Court that the AG’s assistance should be obtained with regard to this investigation. Even the Magistrate several times told the police to seek the assistance of the AG. But for four months the AG has not sent a lawyer to the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court. Now the department is sending a deputy solicitor general to object to bail for the suspects,” Navaratne Bandara scoffed during his submissions.

Navaratne Bandara said that the AG’s Department has had a file on this matter since 2014, but the CCD had arrested Abeysekera without seeking the advice of the AG. This incident took place on March 14, 2014. The complaint has been made on June 24, 2020 – six years later.

“Who is the owner of the firearms at the centre of this case?” Counsel for Abeysekera queried, replying his own question with “the murderer DIG Vaas Gunewardane owns the weapons”.

Who is Shani Abeysekera?” asked his lawyer. “Shani Abeysekera is the greatest detective in the Sri Lanka Police Department. His investigative prowess was so spectacular that he was nicknamed Sherlock Holmes. The AG has secured countless convictions as a result of Abeysekera’s meticulous investigations. If it was Shani’s habit to fabricate evidence, how is it that the learned counsel at the AG’s Department never realised the evidence was doctored? If evidence has been fabricated, the officials who handled the Vaas Gunewardane file should also be held responsible” Navaratne Bandara argued.

Counsel for Abeysekera argued that as CID Director his client had relentlessly pursued perpetrators of violent crimes. “They could not buy him off. They could find no evidence linking him to wrongdoing. So they arrested him on trumped up and frivolous charges” Navaratne Bandara PC charged.

He reminded the court of former CID Sergeant Sugath Mendis’ statement to the Magistrate upon his production in court following his arrest in August, that the CCD officials had told him he would be safe if he agreed to accuse Abeysekera of wrongdoing.

Three of the shotguns in question in the current firearms investigation were registered to ex DIG Vaas Gunewardane and had been issued to him by the police armoury according to records, Navaratne Bandara said. The President’s Counsel noted that under these circumstances Vaas Gunewardane who is currently on death row should also be arrested in connection with this case.

“It is one law for Shani Abeysekera. One law for Vaas Gunewardane,” Navaratne Bandara PC claimed.

“Dignified police officials like Shani Abeysekera are arrested before the files are sent to AG. When it comes to everyone else, they wait for AG’s instructions to arrest,” the President’s Counsel said, pointing to a clear pattern of a witch hunt against the former CID Chief.

Navaratne Bandara PC noted that Shani Abeysekera had been lauded by the AG’s Department itself for his criminal investigations.

During Shani’s tenure at the CID he brought several murderers to book, including the Royal Park killer Shamendra Jayamaha, Duminda Silva who was convicted of killing Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra, ex DIG Vaas Gunewardane, the rapist-killers of school-girl Vidya Sivaloganathan and countless others.

Abeysekera’s lawyer told Court that the Government thinks the ex CID director would flee the country if he is granted bail. “Shani is not the kind of police officer who runs away. 30 times they summoned him to try and find something to implicate him. Each time, he showed up to answer the summons. When he was transferred from the CID he did not run away. He filed a fundamental rights petition,” the President’s Counsel pointed out.

The Government could not bring a successful prosecution against Shani Abeysekera, he said.

“He is being kept in prison so that they can parade him before various commissions of inquiry in handcuffs,” Navaratne Bandara PC charged. “It’s a black mark on the entire police force. The purpose is to instil fear in the entire police force” he charged.

It was usual practice, Abeysekera’s lawyer argued to present evidence along with the suspect in court. “To date these firearms are yet to be produced. But because charges cannot be credibly brought against Shani, they are keeping him in remand and getting some entertainment out of it,” the President’s Counsel accused.

He urged the AG’s Department to remember that their salaries were paid by the Sri Lankan public and not politicians.

Responding to Shani Abeysekera’s counsel, Deputy Solicitor General Shanil Kularatne said that the Department was still studying the matter and were opposing bail. DSG Kularatne said that two witnesses had claimed they had been coerced into incriminating Vaas Gunewardane in a firearms case by Abeysekera and others. He explained that the murder case was different from the firearms case file which had been active since 2014. “While the murder was being investigated, the CID recovered a haul of firearms. A separate file was created for that investigation” DSG Kularatne explained.

DSG Kularatne argued that the High Court could not grant bail to Abeysekera and Mendis when the charges against them were for intimidating and coercing witnesses.

“Nishantha Silva who is wanted in connection with this case has fled the country. No one even knows how he left and whether he left by boat or airplane. Therefore it is not suitable to grant bail to Shani Abeysekera at this time” Kularatne continued.

He added that five witnesses had come forward to testify against Abeysekera in this case.

“This is just another case for us. 55 officers at the CCD have tested positive for COVID19. It is amidst all these obstacles that the investigation is continuing. Therefore they should be given the opportunity to do their investigation and the suspect should not be granted bail,” DSG Kularatne said, swiftly adding that he was speaking “off the record” about the troubles at the CCD.

Jumping in, Navaratne Bandara PC said: “What are you trying to say off the record. I demand it is recorded. Record it. This is shameful.”

Counsel for SSP Abeysekera continued:

“The DSG spoke of five witnesses giving statements against Shani. He declined to name them. I will tell you who they are. They are the subordinates of the murderer Vaas Gunewardane. That is why he refused to name them. These statements are made on June 17, 2020 and June 21, 2020 six years after the firearms are discovered. This is a grossly belated complaint and is therefore highly suspect. The AG is in possession of the file OW 216/2014 sent to the Department by Shani Abeysekera and the CID. Is this how they carry out an investigation?”

DSG Kularatne: The CCD has been infected with COVID….

Navaratne Bandara PC: “යන්නේ කොහෙද මල්ලේ පොල්…. Who says you have to wait until an investigation in complete to seek AG’s advice? My learned friend claims that they have no idea how Nishantha Silva fled the country. This is perfectly fair, because they no longer have the investigative power of officers like Shani Abeysekera in their ranks. If Shani was still around they would have figured these things out very quickly”.

The DSG claims that they have no idea how the firearms came to be in that location. But the police reports repeatedly note the fact that the weapons belong to ex DIG Vass Gunewardane. So what are they saying? Shani did the investigation into Shiyam’s murder and got Vaas Gunewardane put in jail. Naturally his associates are angry with him. That is why six years later they make this complaint. These are not two cases, they are two parts of the same case.

Before the case was concluded High Court Judge Nimal Ranaweera refused to make an order transferring Shani Abeysekera to the IDH for treatment, saying it was beyond the scope since it was a health issue. The determination on bail will be made by December 7, the judge said. (By Chinthika de Silva

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 42

    When dangerous elements like Rishard Badurdeen and Pillaiyan can be given bail, it is surprising the a gentleman like SSP Shani Abeysekera who was fighting for justice was not given bail.

    • 29

      Mr. Ayathurai: No Surprise. It is the newly established Justice System under “Saubagyae Dekma” (Vision of Prosperity).

    • 7

      Ayathu@Absolutely truth. But people of thi country reelected Rajapakshe again knowing their high criminal nature. Those did nt are betrayed and speechless. 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  • 32

    “But for four months the AG has not sent a lawyer to the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court. Now the department is sending a deputy solicitor general to object to bail for the suspects,” Navaratne Bandara scoffed during his submissions”.

    The AG needs to turn the searchlight inwards and answer to the public how all those other high profile cases are being thrown out of court suddenly. There’s not a whimper from him. Even though all of them were filed by the AG;s Dept.

    It’s a shame the way Shani is being treated. Brilliant questions, deductions and remarks from Navaratne Bandara.

    • 21

      Yes what a figure the AG cut an year ago, hair disheveled, as if he is the personification of justice balancing the scales, dating back to the Egyptian Goddess of Justice, Maat.
      Statue of Liberty is anyway skewed by Trump. So we fall in line. Any surprises with a former American here ?

  • 27

    Don’t you all have a conscience. Does Shani Abeysekera look guilty of any crime. Why is he being ill-treated. Where is the President. Is it not his turn to act.

    • 6

      No need him to be guilty, but Gotabata is elected to take revenge on anti- rajapakse sentiment s😎😎😎😎

    • 3

      Nathan @ they never walked the talk but people as voters to be blamed.. people at large are fools. FM radio channels have been providing the clear evidence revealing the nature of average mind set. They get 1caught by any easy tricks 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎 educated politicians are branded and labelled as vicious while criminals are given false publicity for their come back and fish in muddy waters. MEDIA MAFIA MUST BE CRUSHED IN ORDER TO LIBERATE NATION. BASTA

  • 22

    From GOTLER’S Election Manifesto:

    Disciplined, Law Abiding and Values Based Society

    “It is our pledge to bring about a country where no one is above the law. Our intention is to ensure that the legal system works devoid of considerations of political affiliations, social standing and connections.” (page 3)

    “The legal system in a country is the foundation of a civilised society and it should operate to ensure the well-being of its people. The aim of the concept of rule of law is to build a civilised society. As such, a democratic government should never interfere with the rule of law. Our government shall always be dedicated to protecting the rule of law and shall not allow anyone to challenge it.” (page 69)

    • 13

      Ahh. The mistake. ” As such, a democratic government should never interfere with the rule of law. ” That is a statement only, but e did not promise a democratic government by HIM.

    • 13

      Ajay: “where no one is above the law”. In terms of that Manifesto “Saubagye Dekma”, everything is going “Below the Law”. No “Law” but “ONE LAW” and that is “My Word of Mouth”.

      • 4

        No need anyone to be guilty, but Gotabata is elected to take revenge on anti- rajapakse sentiment s😎😎😎😎 people are to be blamed. Not forgetting his brother mafia boss and polonnaruwa donkey for twisting the vulnerable mind set of the nation for their political
        gains. 🤔🤔🤔🤔 people should finally replace their current meals with thanakola . sorry only for camp that stood against Rajapakshe.

  • 18

    this dapolla a blind loyalist of the rajapukas is trying once again to bully the judges,
    whilst he is running amok and wild worse than a wild elephant his wife/p; partner is moulded differently, she is the beacon for the have nots and fights for them in every nook nf corner of this sakilli ridden rajspuk’s
    sharehouse beggar colony..
    every arsehole thief rapist sodomiser is getting bail for every flimsy reason and Lapolla’s amude made bulge with various different currencies and assets.
    a little birdy told me that he’s the mascot lapkolla of an always ever galkolla to the entire rajapuk clan.
    the sooner he is culled and for rid of it will be better for the always suffering since 1956 forced to live in the ghetto forced to be citizens of this colony of the beggars.

  • 19

    Ahh. The mistake we make.
    Firstly he says “It is our pledge to bring about a country where no one is above the law. “
    Now 20A is proof of that ? Sure.
    “As such, a democratic government should never interfere with the rule of law. “
    That is a statement only, but did not promise a democratic government by HIM.
    Manifestos are like Election posters. No value after the election.

    • 14

      And them the famous last words at the end:
      “and shall not allow anyone to challenge it.” (page 69).
      Does refer to HIS word ?

      • 2

        Ferry@ they never walked the talk but people as voters to be blamed. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

  • 12

    Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Baker Street is where Dr.Watson [Conan Doyle ] had his surgery. Whenever yours truly passed Baker Street in London my thoughts would linger on so many of the detective story books penned by him.
    It is appropriate that Shani has been compared with Sherlock Holmes.
    Who is the Hound of the Baskervilles?

  • 18

    In a country where no one trusts each other, everyone has to spend so much energy and attention to protect themselves from their fellow countrymen..an utter shame..! Vegetable growers use ten times more fertiliser and insecticides than is safe; pharmacists buy cheap ineffective drugs with bigger profit margins to sell; take away fried stuff vendors put various plastics to keep the frying oil tasty; manufactured food is full of harmful preservatives that they and their families don’t eat;…this way, lawyers, attorney general’s offices, courts, judges all act in blatant self-interest and work against each other..never work for the public good..what happens? Everyone in that poor country loses in the end. This simple fact escapes all the fools who inhabit the resplendent isle where vistas of splendour and prosperity are the latest gimmicks where the corona pandemic threatens to devour everyone while they fight to protect themselves from each other..shame..! shame..!

  • 1

    When Singapore was born, racist Malaysia shaped into a county.
    Unless Tamil Eelam is born, nothing can be done to help the Sinhala Kottiyas being punished the same way LTTE was punished. To protect these selfless, duty bound people, Tamil Eelam is the only solution. Go for it or keep Chest Beating, lamenting…….. though none of them will make any change.

    Best of Luck
    (I am not doing marketing on Shani’s pain; this is something my honest believe; this is some something I already wrote in CT the many times in the past; this is just another one it.)

  • 12

    Best thing to do now is to shift the police head office to TEMPLE TREES and attorney general dept to GOTHAPAYAS HOUSE to mirigana and health ministry office TO BORELA KANATHA.-LONG LIFE TO DMO-CRAZEY IN SRILANAKA.

  • 11

    In news! Moody has downgraded Sri Lanka to “CCC” level. With the spate of “Judicial” decisions that have been made and many more to come in the near future, the Minister of Education “Prof” G.L.Pieris said in Parliament yesterday: “We don’t interfere in internal affairs of other countries and so do we expect others not to interfere with our internal affairs”. What a “Professorial Statement” by the Minister of Education and the Chairman of the ruling “Pohottu Party”? This was said earlier by our own President (GR) when he addressed the 75th session of the UN. So it is the “Policy” of the present Government. In that context all our “Economic”, “Political” and “Social”(health, education, public transport, Judicial) aspects are within the ambit of “Internal Matters” and no outside country must involve in matters related to these subjects. No foreign “Loans”, “Grants”, “Technical Assistance” etc. should reach us or the Government must entertain or accept such helping hands anymore. I believe, with this type of “Irrational” and “Mockery” displayed in Governmental Affairs, including the most important Judiciary, very soon this country will be “Outlawed” by the rest of the world.

  • 9

    Shani should inform the court of all the illegal orders given to him by AG in the past and also divulge the names of all MPs and Ministers who have manipulated the judicial system over the years from 2005.

    Shani must be having lot of details and he should come out with the names. We Sri Lankans deserve the names and their actions.

  • 3

    When criminals come to power, they protect their followers and destroy others whos stands on their way. How pathetic.

  • 5

    Present AG is worst than the “monkey politicians” as he has switched his hat so soon after the Yahapalana Government changed and Rajapakse Family takeover. Under the present AG all the former crooks against whom his own department filed cases are being released “nidoskota nidahas”. What a crook this guy is!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.