Journalist Tissanayagam's detention extended by three months

[TamilNet, Sunday, 08 June 2008, 14:23 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Defense Ministry has extended the detention order served on a senior journalist J.S.Tissanayagam and two other Tamils, V.Jasikaran and Ms V.Valarmathy for another three months as the earlier order had lapsed on June 5. The Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) of Sri Lanka Police produced three detention orders for each of the suspects instead of producing them before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Ms Kumari Jayewardene Friday, June 6, legal sources said.

The Colombo Chief Magistrate on May 27 ordered the TID to produce the suspects on Friday June 5. But on Friday TID did not produce the suspects but wanted another date as the suspects could not be produced that date.

However Counsel M.A.Sumenthiran for Tissanayagam informed court that the detention order served on his client had lapsed on June 5 and therefore under the Emergency Regulations his client should be produced in court at the end of his 90 days of detention. The counsel held that his client was being illegally detained without a detention order.

The Additional Magistrate upheld the argument of the defense counsel that the detainee be brought before recess that same day and put off the case till the suspect is produced. When the case was taken up later TID produced a letter from its Officer in Charge that fresh detention would be issued on the suspect later as it could not be served immediately due to administrative delays.

Defense Counsel submitted to the court that the TID should have obtained new detention order prior to the lapse of old one. The counsel argued that even in the instance of a new detention order being produced, the detainee should be produced in court under the Emergency Regulations at the end of 90 day period.

Counsel K.V.Thavarajah for suspects V.Jasikaran and Ms V.Valarmathy also submitted to court that the TID was reluctant to produce his clients because they had been tortured.

At that stage the additional magistrate ordered the TID to produce all the three suspects in Court on June 6 Friday at 4 p.m. But the TID at 4 p.m. did not produce the suspects but tendered three detention orders for each of the suspects for a further three months from June 5. TID further informed court said there was no necessity to produce the suspects in court.

The additional magistrate instructed the TID to produce the three suspects in court on July 13 and warned the TID not to defy her order as the law had clearly stated that the detainees should be produced before a magistrate, legal sources said.


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