Former Director of the Criminal Investigations Department SSP Shani Abeysekara has sent a letter of demand to IGP C.D Wickramaratne and Western Province SDIG Deshabandu Tennekoon for falsely arresting and prosecuting him in connection with the Mohamed Shiyam murder case.
The letter of demand has also been sent to two other police officers, namely, Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) Unit 01 OIC IP Jagath Nishantha and CCD Acting Director ASP Neville Silva.
SSP Abeysekara demands LKR one Billion as compensation from the accused.
The letter demand was sent on October 18 through lawyer Manjula Balasuriya. Letter demand has been given 14 days for them to respond.
The interlocutor demands a compensation of one Billion as compensation from the accused.
The letter demand mentions that Shani Abeysekera was transferred from the position of Senior Superintendent of Police to Galle DIG on 20 November 2019 without giving any reason and thereafter a criminal investigation was initiated against him on 24 June 2020.
Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha of the Colombo Criminal Investigation Unit conducted this criminal investigation.
Attorney General also named in the letter demand as he represent the state.
However, any alleged misconduct by a police officer during duty should be investigated by the Police Special Investigation Unit.
The decision to hand over the investigation to the Colombo Criminal Division was taken by IGP Wickramaratne and DIG Deshbandu Tennakoon.
The Colombo Crime Division was under Deshbandu Tennakoon so that he could handle the investigation.
Inspector Jagath Nishantha and Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville Silva pressured some individuals to testify against Shani Abeysekera. It was revealed in the court that such pressure was applied.
On July 9, 2020, Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha submitted a B report to the Gampaha court and named Shani Abeysekera as an accused.
The B report related to a cache of weapons found by Shani Abeysekera in the 2013 investigation into the killing of Mohammad Azamdeen Mohammad Shiyam.
A hateful false accusation was made against Shani Abeysekera that a stock of weapons was falsely presented as being in the estate of Dilip Naligama.
Shani Abeysekera was arrested on July 31, 2020, on that charge.
A statement was obtained from him on the same day, and he was remanded.
Shani Abeysekera’s two bail applications were rejected by the Gampaha Magistrate, after which a bail application was made before the Court of Appeal.
On June 16, 2021, the Court of Appeal granted bail to Shani Abeysekera, stating that the charges against him were fabricated. Moreover, it was stated in the judgment that these accusations were made to prejudice and harm Shani Abeysekera. It was also stated in the judgment that the false testimony of the assistants of the convicted had been presented before the Gampaha courts.
Despite the rejection of the charges against Shani Abeysekera by the Court of Appeal, the Criminal Investigation Department summoned him 27 times and recorded statements.
However, no statement was obtained from Shani Abeysekara during his detention.
Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha then presented a B report against Shani Abeysekara in the Gampaha court.
When the case was taken up for hearing in August 2023, the Attorney General’s Department informed that there was no need to pursue the case against Shani Abeysekera. However, Police Inspector Jagath Nishantha disagreed and asked the Attorney General’s Department to reconsider, but the court closed the case.
After mentioning those facts, the letter demands states that Jagath Nishantha and Neville Silva have deliberately worked to damage Shani Abeysekara’s reputation.
The two of them have not submitted the statements made by Shani Abeysekera to the Attorney General’s Department.
Despite the clear decision of the Court of Appeal, the two continued to make false accusations against Shani Abeysekera.
Both of them failed to provide the records requested by Shani Abeysekera which could have proved his innocence.
This fabricated case was carried forward under both IGP Wickramaratne and DIG Deshabandu, and Jagath Nishantha and Neville Silva were handpicked for the investigation by two of them.
Therefore, the interlocutor states that these two are also involved in falsely concocting a false case to tarnish Shani Abeysekara’s reputation.
By Asoka Jayawardene.