Don’t intimidate Ekneligoda investigators: Lawyers Collective

Monday, 28 December 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Lawyers Collective in a statement said it views with deep concern the attempt being made to intimidate, by public pronouncements,  the police officers conducting investigations into the disappearance of journalist Pradeep Ekneligoda. The previous government did not allow investigation into the abduction of any journalists and this investigation commenced after the regime change.  

The Lawyers Collective is happy to state that the investigations are progressing steadily.  

It is unfortunate that politicians and those who are connected to the military intelligence of the former regime are intimidating the investigators by making baseless allegations that investigations are being targeted at implicating former intelligence officers and certain politicians. Extremist elements headed by the  former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had recently visited the suspects who are in remand custody.  

There is no immunity for intelligence officers or politicians however influential they may be, to commit murder or any other criminal offence on any person, without recourse to due process.  If an immunity of this nature is accepted, then it will be a sad day for Rule of Law in our country.  

Therefore, we call upon these politicians who are trying to cover up their misdeeds by making use of the respect the people have for the security forces, to desist from interfering with criminal investigations which are legally bound to be conducted under law, after the establishment of the independent commissions. We reiterate that the criminal elements should not be permitted to destroy the due administration of justice, when their criminal acts are under investigations.  Further, the use of communal slogans to intimidate the highly respected investigators demonstrates the unprincipled character of these politicians who are prepared to stoop to any low level to cover up their misdeeds.  Ultimately the verdict will be by Courts of Law which function independently without any political or other influence.  Therefore the officers and politicians who are being investigated will enjoy due process, if they are charged before a Court of Law.

Interference by any party with the proper investigations into criminal offences against any person should not be allowed, if rule of law is to be re-established in Sri Lanka.