Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered seven electronic media institutes to hand over the unedited clips of the video footage of the news conference held by former Minister MP Rajitha Senaratne on the alleged abduction of the Swiss Embassy employee to the OIC of the Investigation Unit of the CID.
The CID informed the court that investigations had been launched into the remarks made by the former Minister about the current condition of Sri Lankan Swiss Embassy staff member Garnier Banister Francis, who was said to have been allegedly abducted.
This information was revealed by a submission by the CID Chief Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe to the court.
Information about the abduction of a staff member of the Embassy of Switzerland in Sri Lanka on November 25 near St. Bridget’s Convent in Cinnamon Gardens police division by a group of five who then proceeded to assault her sexually and questioned about granting of visa to Nishantha Silva, was submitted to the court.
When inquired if the subject woman came to the CID to give a statement, the Chief Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe said negative and court inquired further as there was time till the 9th whether they visited her house and made further inquiries. The Chief Police Inspector replied that they visited the house but there was no one and the house appeared to be closed.
"There was no one in the house. The subject woman had been living with her husband and the two children. The security officer of the complex informed that they were not seen after November 27". The Police Inspector said further that the court order was delivered to the chief officer at the Embassy.
He further said that it was revealed that the former Minister MP Rajitha Senaratne had conducted a media briefing on December 02 and revealed certain information in connection with this incident. As the complainant woman had not made any statement regarding this incident it is important to conduct an investigation into what transpired at this press briefing conducted by MP Senaratne.
On a request made by the Chief Inspector, the Court ordered the news directors of seven electronic media institutes to hand over unedited clips of this video discussion to the OIC of the Mass Robbery Investigation Unit of the CID.
On December 03, the Chief Magistrate issued orders banning Garnier Banister Francis who was alleged to have been abducted, from leaving the country without court’s permission. The court order will be in effect until December 09. On the same day, the CID Chief Inspector Ranjith Munasinghe submitted to the court about the abduction and detention of the Swiss Embassy staff member.
Further hearing, in this case, was fixed for December 09. (Nimanthi Ranasinghe)