ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, March 11 , 2007
Vol. 41 - No 41

Company had terrorist links:TID

By Manopriya Gunasekara

A private company of which former Airport and Aviation Services chairman Tiran Alles was a director had allegedly funded terrorist activities, the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) told a magisterial inquiry held this week.

The TID told the Colombo Chief Magistrate Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena that inquiries into the activities of Communication Business Equipment (CBE) had revealed that the company had also allegedly maintained links with a terrorist group.

The revelations were made when the magistrate ordered that the directive issued to impound the passports of Mr. Alles and Dushyantha Basnayaka and Lakshmi Kanthan - two other directors of the company - should continue.

However the order to impound the passports of three more directors of the same company – Pramuka Jayalath, Ponniah Rajendran and Lakshman de Silva was revoked after investigations revealed they had left the country.

The TID told court in the event the company directors left the country, the investigations would be hampered as they may have to be questioned and therefore the order to impound the passports should remain.

The TID said that though they have not been named as suspects the investigations into them were in progress and action taken according to the findings of the investigation.

Appearing on behalf of Mr. Alles, Mr. Daya Perera, PC with Mr. Nalin Ladduwahetty said they had not been informed of the reason to impound the passport of Mr. Alles. They said there was no information in the summons about the involvement of any terrorist activity or any particular crime committed.Mr. Perera said no objections were raised against the court ruling to impound the passport and added Mr. Alles was ready to surrender his passport to court if there was any evidence to prove the allegations.

Mr. Perera denied allegations that his client had been helping terrorist activities and informed court that some of those whose passports had been impounded had left the country between 8 to 12 years ago.

Mr. Ananda Wijesekara, PC and attorney-at-law Shanaka Ranasinghe appearing on behalf of Mr. Basnayaka who is currently in custody also said that objections cannot be raised about impounding the passport as they were not aware of the charges against their client.

The magistrate said that since the investigations were being conducted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Money Laundering Act, Emergency regulations and the Act on funding terrorist organizations, hampering the investigations had to be avoided.

She said no provision could be made to disclose details about the investigations due to the gravity of the allegations made by the TID.

However the magistrate ordered the OIC, TID that provision should be made for Mr. Basnayaka to seek legal consultation and obtain any relief legally.

The magistrate ordered that the company should make available all facilities to provide information regarding the dealings of the company to the TID and that further objections about the decision to impound the passport could be made on March 21.

The Magistrate ordered that Mr. Basnayaka who is being held on a detention order should be produced in court on March 27.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.