Manusha seeks Parliament probe over CID summons 

By Dinitha Rathnayake and Buddhika Samaraweera 

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Opposition Parliamentarian Manusha Nanayakkara has requested the Speaker of the Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena to conduct an investigation into his recent summoning to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) without the provision of a specific, valid reason. 

Nanayakkara yesterday (21) requested the Speaker to summon the CID Director and the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the CID’s Digital Forensics Laboratory/Computer Forensic Division before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee as his Parliamentary privileges have been violated by his summoning to the CID without valid reason. 

“Summoning me to the CID without giving a specific reason is a violation of my rights as a civilian and also a violation of my privileges as an MP. Asking me to appear before the CID without giving a specific reason is a move that goes beyond the country’s common law system,” he said.

Nanayakkara was recently informed to appear before the CID on 20 September. However, since a reason behind the summoning had not been provided to him, the MP had sent his lawyer instead. Speaking to the media after exiting the CID premises, Nanayakkara’s lawyer explained that a letter had been handed over to the CID, requesting for a valid reason behind the summons.

Accordingly, raising a privilege issue in Parliament yesterday (21), Nanayakkara claimed that there is a reasonable suspicion that he had been summoned to the CID without giving specific reasons, in order to stop him from attending Parliamentary sessions and to prevent him from actively contributing to the proceedings of the Parliament.

“A reasonable doubt arises as to whether such a summons was made with the intention of a political witch hunt targeting Opposition MPs, thereby stopping us from raising questions regarding current issues in the Parliament.” 

However, he was not informed of the nature of the complaint or the investigation pertaining to which he was called to provide information for. “I have been notified to appear before the CID concerning information regarding an investigation being carried out by the Digital Forensic Laboratory/Computer Forensic Division of the CID. But I have not been informed as to what complaint I will be summoned for or what kind of investigation they are going to conduct,” he added.

Speaking further, he queried: “I was summoned through the Narahenpita Police Station to appear before the CID to meet the Digital Forensics Laboratory OIC, claiming to obtain information related to an investigation which is being carried out by the said CID unit, but who made the relevant complaint and what is it about?” 

Nanayakkara added that while he is always bound to give his full support in giving evidence in connection with any legitimate investigation carried out by an investigating authority, further legal advice would be sought on the summons issued without proper details of the ongoing investigation.

He therefore reiterated the request for the Parliament Privileges Committee to conduct an inquiry against the Director of the CID and the Digital Forensics Laboratory/Computer Forensic Division of the CID for their actions.

Nanayakkara further stated that steps will be taken to discuss the matter with the SJB and Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, and that he would take further action as per legal advice.