Former Crimes Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Mount Lavinia Police, Sub Inspector Tissa Siri Sugathapala’s attorney’s seek out court’s permission to name him as a witness in the Lasantha Wickrematunga case on the basis that he did not have the mens rea or the mental element to commit a crime by hiding evidence and therefore he should not be named as an accused.
SI Sugathapala’s contention was that his field notebook lying on the front passenger seat was taken by him when he visited the scene and on the orders of DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara he handed over the notebook to the DIG. Lasantha himself has written the two numbers of the two motorbikes that followed him, on the top of the cover pages.
Before handing over the book to DIG Nanayakkara he had obtained a photocopy of the front pages, and kept it in his custody. Two pages from the Grave Crimes Information Book were removed on the orders of the DIG and he had replaced another two fresh pages.
In open court Nanayakkara stated that SI Sugathapala feared for his life and the lives of his wife and two children, if he continued with the investigation without following orders by DIG Nanayakkara. That he did not have any mens rea or the mental element to commit the crime and that he should be taken in as a witness. The case was heard last Friday before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate.