A writ petition filed by former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda challenging the legality of indictments filed against him at the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar was today fixed for inquiry by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal fixed the petition to be taken up for inquiry on September 11.

On a previous occasion, the Court of Appeal had issued an interim order staying the trial-at-bar proceedings against the former Navy Commander Karannagoda until the final determination of this writ petition. The court was informed that the Attorney General has taken the decision to withdraw the indictments filed against Karannagoda.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda and 13 others in connection with alleged abduction, torture, extortion, and conspiracy to murder 11 people in 2008 and 2009.

In his writ petition, Karannagoda stated that the interest of Nishantha Silva, who conducted investigations, was to embarrass Prime Minister Rajapaksa and President Rajapaksa on the basis that the petitioner is perceived to be a close associate of theirs.

The petitioner also states that Nishantha Silva had offered to release suspects under criminal investigation if they would testify against the petitioner and the former Secretary of Defense, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The petitioner stated that Nishantha Silva had acted with evident bias and malice against the petitioner.

Karannagoda states that Nishantha Silva is now a fugitive from justice and is said to have claimed political asylum in Switzerland. The petitioner maintained that he is being victimized for political reasons and as a political vendetta. He further stated that there is no evidence whatsoever to charge him with an offense.

The petitioner states that he verily believes that officers of the Attorney General’s Department have entered minutes stating that the petitioner cannot be indicted on the evidence.

The petitioner stated that there is not an iota of evidence to prove his involvement in the abduction and murder of these eleven people. He further said CID investigations conducted into these incidents for a period of over 10 years have not found evidence against him, even though police have interrogated about 150 people.


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