The Lawyers Collective today condemned what it termed ‘intimidation of investigators’ who are currently investigating disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda, following the visit of Ex- President Mahinda Rajapaksa to meet ‘political prisoners’.
Intelligence Officers of the Sri Lanka Army have been arrested and remanded in connection with the enforced disappearance of Ekneligoda who is said to have been first taken to the Girithale Army camp prior to enforcing his disappearance.
Rajapaksa and Parliamentarians who are supportive of him have voiced their opposition to the arrest of the intelligence officers.
According to the Colombo Telegraphs previous revelations, Ekneligoda was abducted twice, for sending ‘Human Ashes’ to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In the most recent interview of Rajapaksa, with the BBC, an angry Rajapaksa put down the phone when the interview attempted to question him on the disappearance of Ekneligoda.
Below is the full statement;
‘Lawyers Collective’ views with deep concern the attempt being made to intimidate by public pronouncements the officers conducting investigations into the disappearance of journalist Pradeep Ekneligoda.
It is unfortunate that politicians are intimidating the investigators by making baseless allegations that investigations are being directed at implicating former intelligence officers and certain politicians. Ultimately the verdict will be by Courts of Law which function independently without any political or other influence. Therefore the officers and politicians who are being investigated can prove their innocence of the charges, if any, before Courts.
There is no immunity on intelligence officers or politicians however influential they may be, to commit murder or any other criminal offence on any person even if suspected of the commission of any offence, without recourse to due process. If an immunity of this nature is accepted then it will be a sad day for Rule of Law in our country.
Therefore, we call upon these politicians who are trying to cover up their misdeeds by making use of the sympathy and respect the people have on the security forces of our country to desist from interference with criminal investigations which are legally bound to be conducted under law, after the establishment of the independent commissions and of trying to cover up misdeeds by destroying the due administration of justice. Further the use of communal slogans to intimidate the investigators demonstrates the unprincipled character of these politicians who are prepared to stoop to any law level to cover up their misdeeds.
Any interference by any party with the proper investigations into criminal offences against any person should not be allowed if we are to protect Rule of Law.