Former Attorney General Mohan Peiris who is now Senior Advisor to the Cabinet will give evidence in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday in the magisterial inquiry into the alleged abduction of journalist Pradeep Ekneligoda.
The Court of Appeal last Friday turned down an application by the Attorney General seeking to overturn the order of the Homagama Magistrate which summoned Mr.Peiris to give evidence for the complainant Sandya Ekneligoda.
In his submission Deputy Solicitor General Shavendra Fernando said that he has an affidavit from Mr. Peiris stating that the statement he made at a side event held in connection with the UN Committee Against Torture in Geneva last year was hearsay and there was no reason that he should appear as a witness.
Justice Ranjith Silva was of the view that it could not be hearsay as the statement was made openly to the UN Committee. The Bench noted the Magistrate should have the freedom to conduct the inquiry without any obstacle. The magistrate had decided to call Mr. Peiris as a witness and if any order is made preventing the court from doing so that would be an obstacle to the freedom and authority of the magistrate’s court.
The Bench was of the view that if the magistrate had summoned Mr. Peiris as a witness he should do so. Justice Ranjith Silva commented that only the President had immunity but no one else has.
Journalist Ekneligoda went missing in January 24, 2010 prior to the Presidential Election.
The petitioners Mrs. K.M.P. Ekneligoda and her two children filed a habeas corpus application compelling the respondents to produce her husband in the court. Earlier, the Appeal Court directed the Homagama Magistrate to inquire into the disappearance of the journalist in the habeas corpus case filed by Sandya Ekneligoda.
They cited DIG CID Nandana Moonesinghe, DIG Jayantha Kulathilake, HQI Homagama, the IGP and the Attorney General.
Deputy Solicitor General Shavendra Fernando
appeared for the State.
Chrishmal Warnasuriya with Nalaka Jayasuriya
instructed by Sunil Watagala appeared for the