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CDS fails to appear before CID

Former Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne had been summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to give a statement yesterday but he had left the country on an official tour, CID sources said.

Speaking to the Daily News a CID official said that Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne had notified the CID of his official engagement only last morning, but by that time he had already left the country.

He was summoned to give a statement with regard to the abduction of 11 youths in 2008 and 2009. The Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne had ordered the CID to take necessary action to arrest former Navy Commander and Chief of Defence Staff on August 29 in the event there is sufficient evidence to prove that he had aided and abetted Navy Officer, Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias Navy Sampath, to abscond the magisterial inquiry into the disappearance of 11 youths.

‘Navy Sampath’, was arrested by the CID on Lotus Road in Colombo on August 13. He had been in hiding employed as a security guard at an estate using a fake identity card.

The CID said that there was sufficient evidence to arrest the CDS for aiding the main suspect evade arrest but he had to report to the CID for a statement first. There is also suspicion on whether Admiral Wijegunaratne would return to the country to face the inevitable. However, in the event he fails to return the CID said legal action would be initiated against him.

The CID also said that they would notify court of the current situation, adding that Admiral Wijegunaratne had requested the CID for a date after September 19 in order to record his statement. Hence, the CID said that considering the fact that the CDS had left the country on an official engagement, a new date would be set for the recording of his statement.