Abduction of 11 youths: AG not bound by advice from Presidential Commission

Former Navy Commander Karannagoda receiving the rank of Admiral of the Fleet from President Maithripala Sirisena

The Attorney General is saying that he is not bound by instructions issued to him by a Presidential Commissions of Inquiry (PCoI) to refrain from prosecuting two accused in the alleged abduction and murder of eleven youths, the spokeswoman for the AG Nishara Jayaratne told economynext today.

The PCoI is looking at allegations of political victimization that took place during last government, and the AG Dappula de Livera has filed indictments against 16 persons, including former Navy Chief Wasantha Karannagoda and Rear Admiral D K P Dassanayake and 14 others in the alleged abduction and murder case.

The Commission has asked the AG to lay by the investigations into these two senior Navy officers until their own investigations are completed.

“We have informed the Commission of Inquiry on Friday that it has no statutory or legal authority to order the AG to refrain from performing his statutory functions in this case,” Jayaratne said.

The eleven youth many of them Tamils were, according to Police, abducted from Wattala and other areas in the metropolis in 2008 and 2009.

They were allegedly held in the Navy camp in Trincomalee and some of the abductors had tried to demand a ransom to release them from family members.

Police, however, charge that they were killed and their bodies disposed of.

Karannagoda and Dassanayake have filed a complaint before the PCoI that the actions taken against them were part of political victimization and that they were innocent of the charges.

The case is now scheduled for trial before a special High Court.

The commission chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Upali Abeyratne comprises retired Court of Appeal Judge Daya Chandrasiri Jayatilleka and retired IGP Chandra Fernando.

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed the Commission in December. Rajapaksa and his party the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna is of the view that military personnel, particularly Intelligence officers were victimized by the last government.

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