In an unprecedented move, acting Attorney General Suhada Gamlath has removed Senior State Counsel Dilipa Pieris from the Prageeth Eknaligoda disappearance case, authotitative sources from the Attorney General’s Department told Asian Mirror.
Wasantha Perera, a relatively young and inexperienced counsel, has appointed to handle Eknaligda’s case on behalf of the Attorney General’s Department. The file pertaining to the case had been handed over to Perera this morning as per directives from the Acting Attorney General, highly placed sources of the department confirmed.
Dilipa Pieris, in a previous hearing of the case, vehemently oppose granting bail to intelligence unit members who have been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the journalist. He is known among the legal fraternity as a counsel who does not bow down to political pressure.
Pieris’s conduct as the lawyer representing the Attorney General’s Department was widely hailed by civil society activists who demanded justice for Eknaligoda and his family members.
It is in this context that Gamlath has decided to replace Pieris with a young and inexperienced lawyer
Retained: Senior State Counsel In Eknaligoda Case
After Asian Mirror exclusively reported Senior State Counsel Dilipa Pieris’ removal from Prageeth Eknaligoda’s case, Acting Attorney General Suhada Gamlath came under heavy pressure from many sections of the legal fraternity, including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka.
Bar Association President Geoff Alagaratnam, in a telephone conversation with the Acting Attorney General on Tuesday night, expressed their serious concerns over the decision.
Some civil society members too carried out SMS and email campaigns in protest of the sudden decision made by Gamlath. They charged that Gamlath was attempting to protect certain elements involved in the case by appointing a relatively young and inexperienced Counsel from the Attorney General’s Department.
As an immediate result of this resistance, Gamlath has now decided to reverse his decision and re – assign Pieris to the case. He telephoned the Senior State Counsel at 9. 15 pm on Monday and informed that he would not be taken out of the case, sources close to Gamlath confirmed.