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DSGs denounce NTJ ban allegations

2 August 2019 08:26 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The two deputy solicitors general who testified before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on behalf of the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, yesterday denounced the allegations made against their institution with regard to the delay in taking action to ban National Thowheed Jama'ath (NTJ) led by Zahran and thereby faulted IGP Pujith Jayasundara and Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) and several others for their inaction.

Deputy Solicitors General Azath Navavi and Deelpa Peiris blamed the government agencies several times during the select committee sessions.

Deputy Solicitor General Peiris said it was not possible to take action on the basis of some print outs of NTJ website. The other Deputy Solicitor General Navavi later called the written initial information provided by TID to AG’s Department as a dead file.

“How can we take action upon some print outs? Besides, the TID never got back to us after submitting the first file,” Mr. Peiris said.

“We need their investigation file to recommend legal actions. We cannot recommend the arrest of a person without evidence to prove that person had violated the law. The TID documents do not contain such evidence, Mr. Navavi said in response to some questions raised by select committee member Nalinda Jayatissa.

“The TID is an organisation with experience. I do not see the need for giving instructions to TID on arrests that are to be made. They produced us a dead file in our terms. After one year they produced another file. It does not contain any investigation reports. It contained only 14 documents containing the speeches by Zahran, Navavi added.

Select Committee member Prof. Ashu Marasinghe then said there are reports from three divisions of the police. “They have cited the sections of the Penal Code that had been violated by the NTJ and Zahran. They have asked for instructions,” he said. “Do you continuously state that you do not have provided advocacy for them? he questioned Mr. Navavi. He said they did not have in those reports to make arrests.

Dr. Jayatissa then questioned as to whether AG’s Department had informed the TID that there was no substance in their reports to make arrests. “We do not need to do that. The TID can do that their own," Mr. Navavi said.

Select Committee Member M. A. Sumanthiran then questioned as to whether the AG’s Department was in a position to say there were no shortcomings on its part, Mr. Navavi then requested that he should be allowed to consult his colleagues and then a few minutes later said the following.

“We completely reject the notion that there was a shortcoming on our part. This is an unfortunate situation. Everybody thinks that the AG's Department erred and as a result of that Zahran carried out the attack. The AG's Department was instrumental in issuing two open warrants against Zahran. On July 2, 2017, the first open warrant was issued against Zahran by Batticaloa High Court for involving in violent clashes. Again on July 18, 2018, Colombo Magistrate issued another open warrant against Zahran in response to a call by the TID”.

Mr. Peiris earlier said a copy of a written complaint handed over by Mowlavi Sahalan on NTJ has been sent to the then Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapakshe as well, but the latter never made any complaint on the matter. Also, he revealed that the IGP and the President were also informed about the complaint made by the Mowlavi.

Mr. Peiris at the start of the sessions said AG’s Department had decided to testify before the Committee as a wrong picture had been created on the Department. Acting Chairman of the Committee Dr. Jayampathi Wickramaratne who responded said reports on the select committee proceedings have been sensationalised by some media and that they have been advised not to do so. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)

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  • Ram Friday, 02 August 2019 03:15 PM

    AG's failure to respond is the issue is their negligence. If material insufficient they should have told what the investigators must provide. They are passing the buck now

    Ram Friday, 02 August 2019 03:19 PM

    Witness seeking leave to consult colleagues when giving evidence, only heard in the 5 star democracy Sri Lanka. AG has created new precedent

    Ram Friday, 02 August 2019 03:22 PM

    AG at the time was negligent in handing over the file to a Muslim SC who had political connections when AG had many others in his team

    Ram Friday, 02 August 2019 03:25 PM

    The picture created on AG about his mishandling of the files where advise was requested remains same


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