Ekneligoda case; Solicitor General says Rajitha is lying

Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department Mr. Suhada Gamalath yesterday denied an allegation made by Minister Rajitha Senaratne relating to the criminal investigation and court proceedings relating to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda. “This is complete and diabolical lie and I deny this totally,” Mr. Gamalath told the Daily Mirror.

There were several media reports that Solicitor General Gamalath had allegedly negotiated a meeting with the investigators of the case relating to Journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda disappearance and had inquired from CID officers whether a negotiation on the ongoing investigation was possible.

Explaining the background to Minister Senaratne’s allegation, the Solicitor General said that Attorney General Yuwanjan Wijethilake had wanted him to inquire about the ongoing inquiry from the Prosecuting Counsel of the Attorney General’s Department. “This was because Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi has complained to the AG that prosecution counsel was allegedly harsh in his comment against the Army at the inquiry into the journalist’s disappearance case and the army had been disturbed by the certain comments that the prosecution counsel was making,” the SG explained.

Subsequently the SG had summoned a meeting with the Prosecution Counsel Dileepa Peiris and CID investigating officer Shani Abeyratne with regard to the inquiry and the problems they encounter in conducting the investigation in the proper way.

SG Gamalath said subsequently he has suggested to the Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi to find out through the army what causes them to adopt a lackadaisical attitude towards the inquiry into the disappearance of the journalist and to make it possible for the army’s cooperation to be obtained to conduct a proper inquiry.

Mr. Gamalath also requested the President to call for a full report into the case. The attack on the SG Gamalath has come in the wake of the retirement of the present Attorney General Yuwanjan Wijethilake today. According to seniority Mr. Gamalath is next in line for the post of Attorney General. “Apart from that there had never being any attempt to scuttle this inquiry and bring a mediator between any party involved in this matter,” Mr. Gamalath said.

He stated that it is extremely unfortunate independent profession of the government servants who had no any recourse to depend themselves are vilified and treated so shoddily over the media by any person with or without authority and the people holding the reign of government should take serious note of this and adopt measures effectively to protect the government servants and its officials and otherwise government servants discharging their duties honestly and diligently will find it extremely difficult to function for the purpose of progressing the concept of Yahapalanaya.

During his 33-years in the public service Mr. Gamalath, who began his career as a State Counsel reached the second senior most position in the Department and had also served as the Justice Ministry Secretary.(Susitha R. Fernando)

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