ECONOMYNEXT – The Attorney General is displeased at the way the police are going about the taking action over the investigation into the alleged conspiracy involving High Court Judge Gehan Pilapitiya and Actor-Politician Ranjan Ramanayake.
In a letter addressed to the Acting Inspector General of Police Chandana Wickremeratne, AG Dappula de Livera instructed the Police yesterday to immediately “invoke the judicial process” and take action on this case “today” Feb 11.
However, the Police did not arrest Pilapitiya yesterday.
De Livera’s letter was released to the Media by the AG’s department yesterday by his Coordinating Officer Nishara Jayaratne.
The investigation pertains to a recording of a telephone conversation between Pilapitiya and Ramanayake that was among the many such exchanges released on social media some weeks ago.
It appears to have taken place when Pilapitiya was the Colombo Chief Magistrate. The conversation purports to discuss the refusal of bail for a suspect in a case before Pilapitiya.
He is now the Judge of the Embilipitiya High Court but has been interdicted by the Judicial Services Commission due to the investigation.
Previously on Jan 23, the AG ordered the Wickramaratne to arrest Pilapitiya but that was not carried through.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary to the President on Feb 8, IGP Wickremaratne has stated that he had referred these instructions from the AG to arrest Pilapitiya to an internal Police committee comprising three Senior Deputy Inspectors General and two other officers.
He had also assigned a senior officer to conduct an investigation into the leaked phone conversation.
Wickramaratne says the committee found that Pilapitiya had lodged complaints against Ramanayake in the 2015-2016 period for exerting pressure on him and also threatening him over the phone.
Investigations had been conducted at the time and Pilapitiya had continued to engage with Ramanayake as per instructions from the Police.
The IGP also concluded that it has not been verified whether the voices heard on the leaked tape are actually those of the actor and the judge.
In his letter sent to the Acting IGP yesterday de Livera said that the police department’s contention that further action was not possible because it could not conclude whether this conversation took place in the premises of the Nugegoda Courts or another Judicial complex as “laughable.”
It says a simple phone call to the AG’s department could have cleared this up. (Colombo, February 12, 2020)