16 June, 2021

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High Court Rejects Bail For Covid-19 Afflicted SSP Shani Abeysekera; Lawyers File FR

A fundamental rights application has been filed in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka on behalf of SSP Shani Abeysekera after the Gampaha High Court rejected his bail application after a week-long deliberation on Wednesday (9).

Shani Abeysekara

The former CID Director’s lawyers filed a petition in Supreme Court, calling on the highest court of the land to ensure his safety in custody and demanding compensation of Rs 3 million for his unlawful arrest and detention.

In the Fundamental Rights petition, Abeysekera’s lawyers said that his arrest was a violation of his rights guaranteed under Article 13 (1) and 12 (1) of the Constitution. The petition asks the court to direct the Inspector General of Police to provide SSP Abeysekera with adequate protection, specifying circumstances such as if he was taken out of remand prison quarters for investigations or any other purpose such as the recovery of weapons.

Several suspects in police custody have perished in “gun-fights” after being taken outside the prisons for the recovery of “weapons caches”. No independent inquiry is ever performed into these custodial deaths.

On Wednesday the Gampaha High Court struck another blow to the beleaguered former CID chief, when he dismissed SSP Abeysekera’s bail application.

In his 32-page order, Gampaha High Court Judge Nimal Ranaweera cited the “complexity” of the case and said that due to the position SSP Abeysekera held in the CID, it was difficult to determine the veracity of the claim by his lawyers that the former CID director would not intimidate witnesses and interfere in the investigations as his reasoning for denying bail.

Judge Ranaweera also noted in his order denying bail to SSP Abeysekera and SI Sugath Mendis who was also arrested in connection with the same charges that he had found that the AG’s request for more time for a scientific investigation into the complex case was justified.

Two witnesses in a murder trial against senior DIG Vaas Gunewardane, which resulted in a conviction and a death sentence for the top cop for the murder of a businessman in 2013 recanted their testimony six years later.

The witnesses accused Abeysekera and his officers of coercing their testimony to implicate Vaas Gunewardane. It is important to note that CCTV footage of the abduction of the businessman shortly before he was found dead in Colombo, showed Vaas Gunewardane’s son driving the vehicle used for the kidnapping. The recanting resulted in the hasty arrest of SSP Abeysekera who has been in President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s crosshairs because of high profile criminal investigations led by his department since 2015-2019.

SSP Abeysekera tested positive for Covid-19 while in remand at the Mahara prison and has since been transferred to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Rajagiriya.

Medical reports submitted to the Gampaha High Court revealed that SSP Abeysekera had suffered a cardiac incident after he was initially transferred to a military-run quarantine facility in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa from the Mahara prison, where he was denied medical treatment from the Mahara Prison.

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Latest comments

  • 19
    2

    In November 2019, the Buddhist Sinhala people gave the powers to a dictator to kill democracy and justice whether it is Sinhala or Tamil or Muslim. Once the democracy, rule of law and justice put inside the coffin judges and courts are just followers of dictator.

  • 17
    2

    A week-long deliberation to refuse Bail!

    Shani is being treated as if he is more dangerous than the Covid-19 Pandemic.

  • 17
    2

    When Judgements are written in the kitchen of Madamulana these things will happen. Shani has files on Rajapakse family and he investigated their illegal acts. This is a political victimization.

  • 4
    0

    AG requests for more time for a scientific investigation into the complex case. Naturally more time is needed as the science used is not the western variety. It is a very different kind of science in which gathering evidence is a more mysterious and creative process.

  • 7
    0

    High court judges will not go against the people in power as they may be looking for their own future and career prospects. When retired army men are appointed to very senior Secretary level positions etc,overlooking career administrative officials with experience , even judges could also be replaced with retired buddies, similar to Pakistan and China.

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