Attorney accused of contempt

By Santhush Fernando

Major (Rtd.) and Attorney-at-Law Ajith Prasanna faces several criminal defamation litigations including that of contempt of court in the Supreme Court for publicly insulting the judiciary and openly threatening Police and law officers of the State.

Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Kalinga Indatissa PC informed The Sunday Morning that the BASL decided to refer the matter to the Supreme Court. It is learnt that the BASL decided at its last meeting to immediately file action against Prasanna before the Supreme Court in a unanimous resolution.

Prasanna, in a press briefing on 9 December, made derogatory remarks pertaining to judges and officials from the Police and the Attorney General (AG)’s Department over four high-profile cases, namely the alleged abduction and disappearance of 11 youths by Sri Lanka Navy personnel, abduction of The Nation Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr, disappearance of cartoonist Prageeth Eknaligoda, and murder attempt on Rivira Editor-in-Chief Upali Tennakoon.

“Judges and prosecutors exercise a public duty and the BASL is of the opinion that no such judge or prosecutor should be taken to task for conducting a prosecution or hearing a case,” the BASL said in a statement earlier.

On 9 December, Prasanna held a press briefing along with two suspects, former Sri Lanka Navy personnel implicated in the abduction and disappearance of the 11 youths, namely Thushara Mendis and Kasthurige Gamini, casting defamatory remarks against judges, the Police, AG Department staff, and lawyers appearing against errant military personnel.

Meanwhile, the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court ordered the Police to make a request to court to cancel bail granted to the former Sri Lanka Navy personnel who are suspects in the abduction disappearance of the 11 youths.

The court will consider the request on 31 December.

The court earlier observed that the two suspects are likely to have committed offences for making undue interventions or influencing judicial matters punishable under Section 55 of the Judicature Act No. 2 of 1978 read with Section 111 of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act No. 15 of 1979.

Attorney-at-Law of the aggrieved party, Achala Senevirathna told The Sunday Morning that the Court will consider the cancellation of bail for the two suspects and ordered the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to file contempt of court charges.