Keith Noyahr case: FBI support sought

By our police correspondent

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is to seek the assistance of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the probe over the abduction and assault of former Deputy Editor Keith Noyahr, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Well-informed sources attached to the Sri Lanka Police told The Sunday Morning that the technology required to reproduce and analyse the tape recordings of phone calls was not available in the country at present and therefore, the CID had decided to seek the assistance of specialists at the FBI.

Noyahr was abducted and assaulted on 22 May 2008, and eventually released after an alleged series of high-level telephone calls on the night of his abduction. Noyahr fled the country with his family for fear over their safety. Ten individuals have been named as suspects over the case which is being heard at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court.

Meanwhile, Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera, in a letter written to Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratna on 11 September, questioned the CID’s delay in concluding the investigations into Noyahr’s abduction and assault.

The AG noted that a letter had been sent to the CID on 18 July instructing further investigations into the incident, but the CID had not reported back to the Department in order to obtain legal advice to proceed with the case for nearly two months.

In response to the AG’s letter, a senior officer of the Police noted that the CID was currently acting upon instructions given by the AG’s Department on the abduction and assault case of Noyahr.

Accordingly, he stressed that the CID had already arrested the persons as instructed by the Department and had produced them for an identification parade.

However, the next step was to analyse the telephone conversations and for that, the CID need to obtain the relevant reports from the telecommunication service providers in order to identify the proper suspects.

Last month, Police Media Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara noted that the relevant officers had informed that the probe on Noyahr would be completed in two months.