By Lakmal Sooriyagoda
The Colombo Fort Magistrate today ordered the Colombo Central Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to investigate claims that the Fort police had video taped the lawyer of the DNA when they had gone to give a statement.
The Court also reprimanded the OIC of the Fort Police Station saying if the charges are true then it is a grave offence as the police must respect the lawyers when they appear with the public at a police station to record a statement.
The OIC of the Fort Police Station however denied the charges.
During a previous inquiry Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne had issued notice on DNA members including the elected members to parliament Vijitha Herath, Sunil Hadunnetti, Arjuna Ranatunga and Anoma Fonseka the wife of General (retired) Sarath Fonseka to appear before the Fort police and make a statement regarding the alleged violation of election laws by holding a public meeting at the Fort Railway Station 48 hours before the date of the general election.
When the case pertaining to this matter came up before Court in a motion, Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetti complained to Court that he had come to Fort Police Station with his four clients in complying with the Court order.
“When I entered the reception, a policeman asked me to produce my National Identity Card. I produced it to him and he reordered the matter in a book. After that I noticed that another policeman was setting up a video camera to film me. At the same time another policeman who was carrying a camera took my photographs.
“I requested them not to do so but they did not respond. He took several photographs in several angles. I do not know any provisions in the law which is vested on police to take photographs of an attorney-at-law while he goes to a police station. I would like to know whom are they going to give the photos? What is the purpose of police?” the counsel complained.