Keith Noyahr, former Associate Editor, ‘The Nation,’ will be giving evidence on his abduction and torture, but only after the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act is amended, sources closed to Noyahr told Colombo Telegraph.
Noyahr was abducted and tortured in 2008. Five Army Intelligence officers including Major Prabhath Bulathwatte were arrested and remanded over the abduction, but later they were able to obtain bail due to Noyahr’s absence.
In February 2017 the Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate instructed the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to request Noyahr to appear for an identification parade on March 3. However, Noyahr has refused to appear in court.
If the proposed amendment to the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act was incorporated, it would provide for any witness living outside the county to testify within the premises of respective mission. It is this provision that Noyahr would avail himself of, sources added.
The amendment reads: “Where any evidence or statement of any victim of crime or witness is to be recorded from any remote location outside Sri Lanka under subsection (1), it shall be recorded at the Sri Lankan diplomatic mission in the country from where such victim of crime or witness seeks to testify or make the statement.”
The amendment Bill is at the second reading before the Parliament now.