Foreign missions urged to support justice in Navy abduction case amid AG’s shift on Karannagoda

Saturday, 8 June 2024 00:04 –      – 73

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  • Families express concern over political influence as AG may drop charges against former Navy Chief Wasantha Karannagoda

In a letter to foreign diplomatic missions in Sri Lanka, the Families of the Disappeared, an organisation advocating for justice for victims of enforced disappearances, this week expressed concern that the Attorney General may drop charges against former Navy Chief Wasantha Karannagoda, the 14th accused in the Navy abduction for ransom case.

The organisation noted that the writ application filed by Karannagoda seeking his dismissal from the case will be taken up before the Court of Appeal for consideration on 3 June and sought the support of the foreign missions to uphold the rule of law in Sri Lanka. They also expressed their determination to prevent the Attorney General from withdrawing charges against Karannagoda.

Karannagoda along with 14 other Sri Lanka Navy personnel have been named as accused in relation to the abduction of 11 men in 2008-2009. In 2020 he filed a writ application pleading to release him as an accused in the case.

They noted that on 13 May, the writ application was reviewed in court where the Counsel representing the Attorney General announced that they no longer intend to proceed with charges against Karannagoda.

The organisation noted that, over the past 19 months, the Attorney General’s department has consistently opposed the appeals made by Karannagoda. However, they alleged that political influence is behind the Attorney General’s sudden change in stance, deeming the situation highly suspicious.

“We are not demanding to treat the accused in the same way they did to our children and loved ones. We are just asking for the law to take the necessary action in this case,” President of the organisation Brito Fernando said.

The organisation highlighted the crucial role of the Attorney General in standing up for their rights within the legal system and expressed concern over what they see as a departure from this duty.

Fernando said in response to the Attorney General’s actions, the Families of the Disappeared will conduct a public protest on 3 June.