ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday September 16, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 16

Nightclub fracas still in the dark

By Asif Fuard Pix by Berty Mendis.

As investigations into the case of non-cabinet rank labour minister Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka Silva allegedly pistol-whipping an accountant continued, attempts by prison authorities on Friday to get the suspect transferred from a private hospital to the prison hospital failed.

Villain or victim: Malaka lying in the ambulance to court in an ambulance i the court premises.

Prison officials were expecting to transfer him on Friday, but at the last minute a court order prevented the move, with the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court calling for a medical report to be presented on Monday, ruling that a decision would be given then whether he could be transferred to the prison hospital or not, Commissioner General of Prisons (retired) Major General Vajira Wijeygunawardhena said.

Controversy surrounded the case as to how the suspect remained in a private hospital despite the usual procedure being that a suspect should be remanded either in the prison’s hospital or government hospital.

When the case was taken up on Thursday at the Mt. Lavinia Magistrates court Additional Magistrate Darshika Wimalasiri said the Court could not grant bail to the suspect as he had been taken into custody on an offence committed under the Firearms Act. The suspect’s counsel pushed for bail application on the grounds that it had not been proved that a firearm had been used.

On Thursday, Malaka’s Counsel Denzil Gunaratne told court that the suspect was lying in an ambulance parked in the court premises as he could not get down from the vehicle and walk to the court house. The counsel said his client was having a neurological problem and was being treated by Neurologist Geethanjana Mendis and that the medical report would be filed.

Chaminda Rupanath Senasinha

At this stage the Magistrate said she would like to see the suspect in the vehicle and walked up to the ambulance. Malaka who was lying on a stretcher covered from head to toe with a white blanket was questioned by the Magistrate. The suspect told the Magistrate his name was Malaka Manojith Silva and was feeling ‘vomitish’ which was the reason he couldn’t appear before her.

Later the Magistrate delivering the order said according to the first B- report filed by the Bambalapitiya Police the suspect was in possession of a firearm and the Magistrate had no jurisdiction to grant him bail. According to the ‘B’ report filed by Bambalapitiya police OIC, Chief Inspector Abeyratna Dissanayaka, employees of the night club had witnessed the brawl.

But their statements to the police provided very little information supportive of the investigation as all employees made similar statements, saying that they could not identify the parties involved in the clash that took place on September 6.

The nightclub’s manager Roshan Dinesh Wijenayaka in his statement to the Bambalapitiya police said, ‘Around 10.30 p.m. on September 6 there was an argument and clash between two persons and since it was dark the persons were not identifiable and soon after the clash both parties left. I am not sure whether a pistol was used in this incident’.

Bar keeper Wasantha Pushpakumara said he was on duty and he noticed two persons fighting each other and the place was in semi-darkness. He said that just a few minutes after the incident both parties left the premises and he was not sure who was involved in the brawl or what was used in the attack.

Mount Lavinia Additional Magistrate walking up to the ambulance to question Malaka

Police initially informed court on Tuesday that they were not in a position to record the statement of the German national Claudia who was present at the time of the clash, but subsequently her statement had been recorded. Police also said that they were trying to record the statement of Samantha Tilkararatna, who was an eye witness to the incident.

According to the Police Malaka had walked into the police station at 11.35 p.m. on September 6 and lodged a complaint that while he was at the Bristo Latino night club with some others at the same table an unidentified person of about 30 years of age walked up to him and asked whether he was Malaka and when he acknowledged that he was, he was assaulted by the person.
He said he was injured on the nose and the person kicked him and the assault had caused injuries on his face and there were no other injuries. He said that during the fall his head had struck the floor.

The police officer who recorded the complaint had noted a scratch injury near the nose of Malaka. Police said around 1.15 a.m another person walked into the station to make a complaint. He was dressed in a white shirt and the shirt was soaked in blood while plaster was observed above the ear as well as above the right eye.

He had identified himself as Chaminda Rupanath Senasinha of Kollupitiya and said he was in the company of German national Claudia at the night club when Malaka Silva whom he had identified by seeing his pictures in newspapers and the internet, came up to him and knocked on him.

Always the supportive father: Mervyn Silva at the courts with his bodyguards

He said that he had asked who he was and he had replied saying he was Mervyn Silva’s son Malaka Silva and said that the female accompanying him was an old friend and was only his friend and started assaulting him.

Senasinghe said that Malaka had pulled out a weapon identified as a 9 mm (gun) and pointed it at his head and thereafter started beating him on the head.

He said no one came forward to help him and later he was taken to the national hospital. He said that when he was on his way to hospital Malaka had called Claudia on her phone and tried to inquire the location where they were, but she had not disclosed the location.

When The Sunday Times contacted the Bambalapitiya OIC Chief Inspector Abeyratne Dissanayake he said that there was no evidence to show that Malaka was carrying a firearm.“We are doing our best. We have not found anything against Malaka to say he was carrying a 9mm,” he said.

Click!Anyone who dares to take a picture of the Silvas is immediately captured on the mobile of this man who was seen with Mervyn Silva at the court premises on Thursday

This was not the first time Malka was involved in such a similar incident. In November last year Malaka and two of his body guards pleaded guilty for attacking Police Narcotics Bureau (PNB) officers, who were on a raid at a night club at the Taj Hotel in Colombo.

Subsequently High Court Judge Upali Abeyratne ordered each of them to pay compensation of Rs.10,000 and enter into a bond of Rs.100,000 each and be on good behavior for one year.

Malaka Silva was charged with intimidating and obstructing the PNB team. Despite the court ruling going in favour of the PNB officers who were doing their duty, the Officer In Charge of the team who served as senior narcotics police officer was later transferred to the police Women and Child Bureau over political differences.

The Sunday Times learns that Minister Mervyn Silva had attempted to transfer two senior officers attached to the Special Task Force who were said to have been cracking down on high profile underworld figures. However, due to the outstanding track record of the two officers the minister’s attempts failed.

In 2004 Malaka ran amok with his father by destroying property and harassing many guests at Clancy’s night club in Colombo 7.

A security guard who had witnessed the incident told the Cinnamon Gardens police that it was Mervyn Silva who had damaged property at the club along with his gang of thugs. However, days later the security guard in question changed his story and gave an affidavit retracting his previous statement.

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