The CID yesterday (31), informed Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne that former Navy Commander and current Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunawardene was connected to the disappearance of Lieutenant Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi, a suspect charged with the abduction and disappearance of 11 children.
Attorney Achala Seneviratne, appearing for the aggrieved parties, questioned the CID on the progress made in their investigations into Hettiarachchi’s disappearance.
The CID told the Court, “We have been seeking public help with regard to the disappearance of Prasad Hettiarachchi. We had sought such help through the print and electronic media. Following statements given by his wife it has been proved that on the day that he was ordered to give statements, he had been present at the Navy Headquarters. Also, a statement had been recorded from a person identified as G. Laksiri, who had occupied a room adjoining that of Hettiarachchi’s. He told us that one day Admiral Ravindra Wijegunawardene had arrived and berated Hettiarachchi and had inquired from him where he was preparing to go. Laksiri told the CID that Wijegunawardene had told Hettiarachchi that he will not be able to help him if he was to be caught by the Police having languished here and there.
Later, when Wijegunawardene had gone, Laksiri had inquired from Hettiarachchi why Wijegunawardene had scolded him. Laksiri had told the CID that Hettiarachchi had told him that Wijegunawardene had warned him against going out as the Police were looking for him. Laksiri had further told the CID that under the guise of Rear Admiral Hettiarachchi, a person had given a parcel to Prasad Hettiarachchi, on instructions from the former Navy Commander. Laksiri told the CID that when he had checked the parcel he had seen a few currency notes and 24 hours later Lieutenant Commander Prasad Hettiarachchi had gone missing.”
The CID told the Court that the reason for seeking a statement from Laksiri was due to certain information received by the Director of the CID.
Having taken submissions into consideration the Magistrate said that a separate case was needed on that incident and that it should be run concurrently with the main case.
Magistrate Jayaratne also ordered that a representative of the Attorney General available at the next hearing date.She also further extended the open warrant that had been issued for the arrest of Prasad Hettiarachchi and ordered two Navy intelligence officers, who are currently in remand, in connection with the case, K. Gamini and Aruna Thushara de Mendis. to be further remanded till 14 June.