The independence of the country’s judiciary continued to be in question, with the last two Army Intelligence Officers, who were remanded in connection with the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, also released today by the Court.
The order comes following a recent statement by President Maithripala Sirisena, who lashed out for arresting and remanding Army Intelligence Officers despite their role in various criminal cases. Since Sirisena’s statement, all army intelligence officers who have been arrested and remanded, including on charges of being involved in murder, have been released by the Courts.
Accordingly, the remaining two Army Intelligence Officers who were in remand, were granted bail by the Avissawella High Court today.
In late October, Mount Lavinia Magistrate Mohammed Shahabdeen released Army Intelligence Officer Premananda Udalagama on bail despite his involvement in the assassination of Editor of Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge. The same officer was released on bail in a separate case by the Gampaha Magistrate Kaweendra Nanayakkara despite being identified as the culprit who assaulted former editor of Rivira Newspaper, Upali Tennakoon and his wife in 2009. In October, two more Army Intelligence Officers were released on bail despite their alleged connection to Ekneligoda’s disappearance.
Last month, Sirisena launched a verbal attack against the arresting and remanding of Army Intelligence Officers who have been involved in various criminal activities including being linked to murder.