Incomplete TID probes scuttled legal action | Daily News


DSG Dileepa Peiris tells PSC:

Incomplete TID probes scuttled legal action

The Attorney General’s Department represented by Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris who testified at the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) yesterday said that the Attorney General found it to be a ‘serious incident’ when despite requests by the AG’s Department, no report had been submitted by the Inspector General of Police or any other law enforcement agency over the conduct of Zahran Hashim since 2017.

“It was only when I summoned the OIC of the Kattankudy Police, did I find out that an investigation had been carried out,” Dileepa Peiris told the committee.

“There are no obstacles preventing the IGP from conducting an inquiry. A letter signed by the Al Haj Abdul Jawadh Alim Waliyyullah Trust signed by Moulavi KRM Sahlan wrote to us and the Terrorist Investigation Division but it took them two years to summon him to record his statement.”

Deputy Solicitor General Peiris also referred to the letters that this Moulavi had sent adding that the Moulavi sought a discussion with the Attorney General’s Department over the conduct of Zahran Hashim of the National Thowheed Jamath as early as March 2017. The attorney revealed that Moulavi had personally delivered the letter and addressed it to the then Attorney General at the time.

“With regard to persecution, the AG’s Department can file action only when it can be proved beyond reasonable doubt and if there is reasonable prospect of conviction,” he informed the committee. “When the individual produced photographs of individuals who were injured and detailed the conduct of Zahran, even the Attorney General was shocked to learn that such incidents took place.” He told the committee that the TID had only sent ‘incomplete files’ over which the AG’s Department cannot file a case, even over ICCPR Act for hate speech.

“The TID should have arrested them. They do not need to ask from others. They could have done that on their own if they suspected them to be terrorists. They sent us three files. They are incomplete files. Those files did not have anything to form an accusation and file a case. The files referred to us by the TID did not have any substance for a case. One of the files contained nothing but two speeches and printouts of posts taken from Zahran Hashim’s Facebook page. Could we file a case on the basis of that ?”

Peiris also told the committee that Moulavi Sahlan requested for a discussion over a case which was being heard at the Batticaloa courts particularly over the possibility of granting bail to extremist individuals. He further said that he even requested the OIC of Kattankudy to meet with this Moulavi for further discussions.

“The TID sent a report on May 5 this year after the Easter attacks took place. It says that Zahran Hashim had been spreading extremist violence and complaints had been lodged by another faction of Muslims. Moulavi Sahlan had handed over another letter and two CDs, yet no statements were recorded.”

The Deputy Solicitor General went on to state that it is not the task of AG’s Department to advise the law enforcement agencies of when to make arrests. “The State Intelligence Service has the capacity to search and decipher telephone calls, while the TID can carry out investigations,” he said adding that if there was sufficient evidence the law enforcement agencies are empowered by law to take necessary action.

The Deputy Solicitor General said that when he summoned the OIC of the Kattankudy Police he felt “there was some political inference and the OIC was scared to take action due to political reasons”.

“I told him that it has nothing to do with politics.” Dileepa Peiris added that although Moulavi Sahlan had copied the same letters to Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, who was the Justice Minister at the time, the minister too did not request for an inquiry.”



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