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Champika arrested and remanded


19 December 2019 12:20 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Welikada road accident in 2016

Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana 


By Ajith Siriwardena, Yoshitha Perera 

Former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka, who was arrested last evening by the Colombo Crime Division (CCD) on the instructions of the Attorney General (AG) over his alleged involvement in a road accident that took place at Welikada in 2016, was remanded till today.  

When the former minister was produced in court late last night, Colombo Additional Magistrate Kanchana Neranjana de Silva ordered that he be remanded till today. He was arrested on the charges of hit and run, producing an imposter as his driver and withholding information. 

However, police officers attached to the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court had not permitted reporters to enter the court when MP Ranawaka was produced. 
Earlier, the magistrate ordered the CCD to conclude investigations into the Rajagiriya accident and inform court on February  14, 2020. 

Filing a motion before Colombo Additional Magistrate Kanchana Neranjana de Silva earlier this week, CCD OIC Neville Silva sought an order to obtain telephone records of the former minister and his driver Dilum Thusitha Kumara. He also sought an order to retrieve unedited video clips from television channels. 

Accordingly, the Colombo Additional Magistrate ordered the CCD to obtain telephone records of the former minister and his driver. Furthermore, the Additional Magistrate ordered the television channels to provide unedited video clips of the incident to the CCD.

According to the B-report, the CCD had initiated investigations on twenty phone numbers used by the former minister during the time of the incident.
Appearing on behalf of the former minister and his driver, Counsel Gunaratne Wanninayake informed the magistrate that the court issued the travel ban without naming the former minister and his driver as suspects on the road accident that took place in 2016 at Rajagiriya.

He also informed the magistrate that on December 13, officials attached to the CCD travelled to Galle and forcibly brought former minister’s driver Thusitha Kumara’s family members to Colombo sans a court order. “At the time, there were Thusitha Kumara’s mother, his wife and child. CCD Inspector Meththananda, along with a group of officials, bought his family members to Battaramulla,” he said.  

Responding to the counsel’s statement, CCD OIC Neville Silva informed the magistrate that the CCD received information on Thusitha Kumara’s residence in Galle and according to that fact initiated the investigation.

“We went to Galle to get a statement from him. We only used a vehicle belonging to the CCD. After we went to his residence, Thusitha Kumara was not available. He was at a residence in Jayanthipura. The family members wanted to support the investigation and they came along with us to Colombo,” he informed court. He strongly condemned the allegation levelled by Counsel Gunaratne Wanninayake saying it was not an abduction.

However, the magistrate stated that the court had no favouration on this case. Earlier, the court issued a travel ban on former Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and his driver over the Rajagiriya accident.

Considering the submissions made by both parties, Additional Magistrate Neranjana De Silva said former Minister Ranawaka and his driver could inform court if they were leaving the country.

CCD officers entered my residence forcibly - Champika

By Sheain Fernandopulle 

MP Patali Champika Ranawaka, who was seen in a video clip shared on Facebook prior to his arrest, said it was forcible entry into his residence by CCD officers. 

The video clip had been shared on Facebook by his Media Secretary Danushka Ramanayake.

“I was just in after meeting several prelates. CCD officers informed that there was an arrest warrant against me. When I asked if they informed Parliament regarding this, I learnt that they have failed to. 

“They informed the Deputy Speaker about the arrest only after entering my residence. Moreover, the magistrate had not been informed about these developments,” he said.  The vehicle transporting the former Megapolis and Western Province Development Minister collided with a motorcycle severely injuring the rider who was identified as Sandeepa Sampath from Godagama. 


Arrest may violate Parliament and Privileges Act - Deputy Speaker

By Yohan Perera 

The arrest of MP Patali Champika Ranawaka can be a violation of Parliament and Privileges Act, Deputy Speaker Ananda Kumarasiri said yesterday. 

He told Daily Mirror that Speaker Karu Jayasuriya was not informed of the developments as he was aboard. 

“The Speaker was not obviously informed as he is in China at the moment. The police informed me about the arrest and sought permission. Police is liable to inform the Speaker or Parliament before making such an arrest as per the powers of Parliament and Parliamentary Privileges Act. Under Section 4 of this piece of legislation, an MP is not liable to any civil or criminal proceeding, arrest, imprisonment or damage by reason of anything which he may have said in Parliament or by reason of any matter or thing which he may have brought before Parliament by petition, bill, resolution, motion or otherwise,” he said.  

“Except for a contravention of this Act, no member shall be liable to arrest, detention or molestation in respect of any debt or matter which may be the subject of civil proceeding while proceeding to, or in attendance at, or returning from, any meeting or sitting of Parliament. Provided that any person otherwise entitled to any immunity or privilege under this section who shall be deemed to have committed any act of insolvency may be dealt with under the Insolvency Ordinance as if he had not such immunity or privileges,” the Act outlines. 




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