At a hearing on the 30th, Mt. Lavinia additional magistrate Lochana Abeywickrama ordered the dissolution of an identification parade and granted bail for the suspects in the abduction and assault of ‘The Nation’ former editor Keith Noyarh.
The reason for her decisions was that Noyarh continued to be absent at an identification parade despite being informed through diplomatic channels. He presently lives in Australia. In a previous article, Lanka News Web questioned as to why he did not make an appearance at an identification parade. It is one thing to dissolve the identification parade due to the absence of the complainant. But, it is a totally different matter to grant them bail notwithstanding the fact that investigations have revealed that they (arrested state intelligence officers) were also suspects in the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge. The way charges have been filed in the Noyarh case prevents granting them bail.
Lochana Abeywickrama, who took up the case, was appointed to the judiciary by the notorious former chief justice Sarath N. Silva. She is the closest female friend of Aravinda Perera, a close confidante of both Sarath N. Silva and the ex-Rajapaksa regime. These are reasons to be considered as it was the Rajapaksa regime that had sent the state intelligence group to abduct Noyarh and to murder Wickrematunge.
Abeywickrama has no understanding of the law. The CID filed the charges under the charges of torturing Noyarh and under the firearms ordinance. She ordered bail despite the fact that magistrates cannot give bail to those accused under the firearms ordinance. And, she ordered them bail on an order received from the higher up.
The attorney general is to submit an amended application to the appeal court to get the bail order reversed. He has already taken up the matter with the CID.
Many believe that either president Maithripala Sirisena or prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is behind the bail order. But, reports reaching us say the ex-regime has positioned its henchmen at the appropriate places to ensure that the killers are freed and they too, are cleared of the charges. A political chameleon, Sarath N. Silva, is these days in the embrace of ex-defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.