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Admiral Wijegunaratne takes flight hours before CID inquiry

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

By Skandha Gunasekara 

Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne left the country yesterday, just hours before he was scheduled to give a statement to the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), top-ranking sources confirmed.

CID sources told the Daily FT that they had not been informed of the Admiral’s foreign trip.

The Chief of Defence Staff had earlier notified the CID that he would appear before the Division on 10 September, to make a statement on his alleged involvement in the death of 11 youths in the years 2008 and 2009.

It is learnt that Wijegunaratne had left for Qatar last morning to attend the National Day celebrations on behalf of the Sri Lankan Government. 

On 29 August, Colombo Magistrate Court Judge Lanka Jayaratne ordered the CID to arrest former Navy Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne if there was sufficient evidence to show that he had aided and abetted Navy Officer Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi, alias Navy Sampath, to evade Court while the magisterial inquiry into the deaths of the 11 missing youths was ongoing. 

‘Navy Sampath,’ the main suspect in the case, was arrested by the CID down Lotus Road on 13 August.

It was revealed through investigations last week that ‘Navy Sampath’ had received Rs. 500,000 at the time from an official Navy bank account, to aid his escape to Malaysia.

Despite courts permitting the CID to arrest Wijegunaratne, his passport was not impounded.

Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara told Daily FT that the CID would have to set another date to obtain a statement from Admiral Wijegunaratne upon his return to the country.

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