Warrant issued for Rajitha’s arrest

The Colombo Additional Magistrate today (24) issued a warrant to arrest the former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne over the controversial “white van” media briefing he had called last month.

The arrest warrant was issued after taking into consideration the submissions presented by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

He told the court that the former Minister has committed an offence under the provisions of Penal Code Ordinance and the President’s Election Act, thereby sought a warrant to place him under arrest.
Accepting the Deputy Solicitor General’s request, Colombo Additional Magistrate B. Nelumdeniya put out an arrest warrant on MP Senaratne.

The second anticipatory bail application filed by the former Health Minister, seeking the prevention of his arrest before he is taken into custody by the CID, was then scheduled to be reviewed on December 30.

Earlier today (24), Attorney General Dappula De Livera instructed the CID to obtain an arrest warrant from court and arrest former minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne following investigations regarding the ‘white van’ press conference. 

The UNP MP yesterday (23) filed a fresh affidavit with regard to his second anticipatory bail application seeking to prevent his arrest by the CID.

On November 10  this year, Senaratne had called the said press conference, which was attended by two persons named Anthony Douglas Fernando and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake.

During the briefing, the duo had made controversial statements and allegations regarding “white vans” and purported incidents of certain abductions, assassinations, robberies and forced disappearances during the administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

One of them had claimed that he was a “white van” driver involved in abducting people while the other claimed he once served as a driver to transport a stock of gold in previously LTTE-held areas.

On December 02, the CID presented a submission to the Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne regarding the said media briefing. 

Considering a request made by the CID, the chief magistrate had ordered several media institutions to submit the unedited video footage from this press conference to the investigators for onward probes.

The investigations in this regard were launched after a complaint was lodged by an individual named Kumudu Pradeep Sanjeewa Perera.

The CID later arrested the two individuals in question and detained them for 72 hours for onward interrogations.

The duo was subsequently produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate, who delivered an order to remand them until December 27.
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