Ex-AG Mohan Peiris as witness: Court will decide on May 17

By Wasantha Ramanayake

In the magisterial inquiry into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda, Homagama Magistrate T.G.S.A. Perera on Monday reserved order for May 17, whether or not to call former Attorney General (AG) Mohan Peiris as witness, The Magistrate reserved the order after the prosecution challenged the validity of the transcript copy of the statement made by the former AG in Geneva last year.
Junior Counsel for the complainant Sandya Ekneligoda also moved the court to call a UN representative, to ascertain the validity of the document, if it was not admissible.

Counsel for the complainant Ms. Ekneligoda produced the document when the prosecution objected to call the former AG to give evidence, without any proof of him making the statement in Geneva.
Later, cross examined by prosecuting counsel Deputy Solicitor General Shaveendra Fernando, Ms. Ekneligoda told court that she would go wherever possible and do whatever she could to find her missing husband.

She told court that she had written to the President, the First Lady, all the ministers and then AG Mohan Peiris P.C., seeking their intervention to locate her husband. Responding as to what prompted her to complain to the UN, she told court that, once her endeavours here failed, she went before the UN.

When asked whether or not she knew of the draft resolution of the United Nations Human Rights Council, she answered in the affirmative, saying she had known of it through the media.

Replying to queries on her visit to Geneva, she told court that she went to Geneva on March 17 and participated at a side event held parallel to the Council sessions, in connection with Sri Lanka.
Her expenditure was borne by the sponsors. She also told court that whenever food was not provided, she was given an allowance to cover the related expense.

She also told court that she had been abroad on several occasions with regard to her husband’s disappearance. The Appeal Court directed the Homagama Magistrate to inquire into the disappearance of the journalist in the habeas corpus case filed by Ms. Ekneligoda.

The case was filed by Sandya and her two sons Sathyajith Sanjaya Ekneligoda and Harith Sooriyabandara Ekneligoda, in connection with the disappearance of the journalist in January 2009.Petitioners sought a court order compelling the respondents to produce the missing journalist before court.

They cited former CID DIG Nandana Moonasinghe, DIG Jayantha Kulathilake, HQI Homagama, the IGP and the AG. ChrismalWarnasuriya with Nalaka Jayasuriya appeared for the petitioner.

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