By Colombo Telegraph –
The Court of Appeal on November 6, issued an arrest warrant on former Editor in Chief of The Sunday Leader Frederica Jansz when she did not show in court as summoned to do when a Contempt of Court action filed by Thilanga Sumathipala was called.
The Contempt of Court case was filed in 2004 by one time Chairman, Sri Lanka Telecom and President for the Board of Control for Sri Lanka Cricket, Thilanga Sumathipala against then Sunday Leader Editor
Lasantha Wickrematunge, journalist Frederica Jansz and publisher Lal Wickrematunge for wilfully carrying articles in the Sunday Leader newspaper prejudicial to the current court proceedings against Sumathipala.
Petitioner Thilanga Sumathipala in his application stated that the articles were published with the cold and calculated intention of interfering with the ongoing judicial proceedings and thus creating an atmosphere of real and substantial prejudice against him (petitioner) subverting the due process of Law and gravely prejudicing the holding of a fair trial.
Sumathipala has maintained that the publication of a series of articles, written by Jansz and published during the tenure of Editor and the late Lasantha Wickrematunge, while there was imminent legal proceedings against the petitioner rendered the action sub judice.
Sumathipala at the time was the second accused in the Magistrate’s Court case where he was being charged for aiding and abetting underworld figure Dhammika Amarasinghe to forge a passport in the name of Buddhika Priyashantha Godage and aiding and abetting Dhammika Amarasinghe to travel abroad using the forged passport. Sumathipala, according to the articles carried in The Sunday Leader had used cricket board funds to do so.
Petitioner Thilanga Sumathipala has asked Court to issue a rule on Sunday Leader Editor, (now dead) then journalist and later Editor Frederica Jansz and Publisher of the Sunday Leader Lal Wickrematunga why they should not be punished for contempt of the Magistrate’s Court of Colombo and upon failure to show cause to punish the respondents for contempt of Court.
The sensational articles published in the newspaper in 2003 and 2004 resulted in the sacking of two judges and the murder of the underworld figure Dhammika Amarasinghe who was shot dead in the middle of a
district court house in Hultsdorf when produced for a judicial hearing.
Colombo Telegraph this week carried the story that Frederica Jansz, who was sacked from her post as Editor in Chief at The Sunday Leader in September this year is learnt to have left Sri Lanka together with her two sons having been granted refuge by a powerful nation currently pushing to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable for possible war crimes and other human right abuses including abuses of media freedoms and stifling the press.
Frederica had since her termination confided to close associates that she had been followed home twice by men on motorbikes as well as received a threatening phone call.
Frederica was also facing further litigation initiated by Gotabaya Rajapaksa when in July this year following the article ‘ Gota Goes Berserk’ he revived a Contempt of Court action he filed in 2009 and had laid by following her giving evidence in the White Flag case.
Frederica, according to confidantes had said she had been warned by her lawyers that there were moves to possibly impound her passport at the next court hearing scheduled for later this month. She was also
facing a jail term if the case was decided in favour of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.