- The Colombo Chief Magistrate issued a temporary travel ban on the alleged victim until December 17
By Yoshitha Perera
Swiss embassy local staffer Garnier Banister Francis, who was arrested for providing fabricated statements to the CID, has been remanded till December 30 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathna yesterday.
The suspect was arrested after she gave a statement to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Angoda. Earlier, the Attorney General (AG) instructed the CID to arrest the suspect for making falsified statements to the CID. The Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday issued a temporary travel ban till December 17 on Garnier Banister Francis who was allegedly threatened by a group of unidentified men. The magistrate directed her to provide a statement to the CID within the particular period.
When the case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrate, the CID informed that it could not trace the whereabouts of Garnier Banister Francis.
Representing the AG’s Department, Senior State Counsel (SSC) Janaka Bandara informed the magistrate that when the CID attempted to get a statement from the Swiss Ambassador, the embassy officials refused to provide their assistance.
“However, Second Officer to the Ambassador, Rahul Imbatch provided a statement to the CID on the entire incident but the embassy failed to provide necessary information about the employee concerned,” CID officials said.
SSC Janaka Bandara highlighted that in the B-report, the CID mentioned that the alleged victim was a resident at an apartment in Maligakanda. He stated that when the CID probed the said apartment, its security officer had told the CID that the suspect’s mother had informed him that her family left the apartment to go abroad.
“The investigations revealed that during the day the incident occurred, the alleged victim had gone for a parents meeting at St. Bridget’s Convent and since she was missing, the CID had to record statements from the school staff,” he said.
Explaining the legal procedure to request a travel ban, he said according to Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) – Section 115, the CID had to continue investigations into the case.
“As mentioned in CPC Section 115, there is a situation where investigations cannot be completed within 24 hours and the alleged victim missing from her residence. The CID and AG’s Department cannot prepare the legal framework since there is lack of support from the alleged victim and the issue has become a serious matter. When we are trying to find her, she is not available. We wanted to know what exactly happened on that day. It is her responsibility to cooperate with us. Ongoing investigations reveal that the alleged victim’s husband, who is an officer attached to Nations Trust Bank (NTB), was aware of the particular incident. His contact number is not working. We need to get a statement on whether she was actually abducted or not. If not, who had framed her to create such a story? There are several concerns,” he said.
Considering all facts, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne issued a temporary travel ban on the alleged victim until December 17.