Rank or status immaterial to PCoI, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe told | Daily News


Rank or status immaterial to PCoI, Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe told

The rank or status of a witness has no relevance whatsoever to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating into incidents of political victimisation, Commission Chairman retired Supreme Court Justice Upali Abeyratne yesterday informed the attorneys of Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, former Director General of the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption.

The Commission made this observation in response to a statement by Wickremesinghe’s lawyer, Janaka Tissera who questioned the Commission’s legal capacity to summon such officers as Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe. Further, the Commission Chairman stated that the Commission has the power to summon the said witness and is well aware of the objective of the Commission.

The chairman also observed that it was a waste of time to come before the Commission and question its powers.

These observations were made when Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe, former Director of the Commission to Investigate Bribery and Corruption, appeared before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating into the incidents of Political Victimisation yesterday (26) to make a statement on the Avant Garde case.

On June 23, 17 persons including Wickramasinghe were summoned before the Commission to testify concerning a lawsuit filed by Nissanka Senadhipathi, the Chairman of Avant Garde. However, Dias’s lawyer Janaka Tissera, informed the Commission that she was unable to attend.

When the lawyer appearing for Wickramasinghe questioned the legal capacity of the Commission, the Chairman of the Commission Upali Abeyratne told that evidence should not be presented as lectures and that the Commission has no concern over a person’s rank or status when investigating.

Meanwhile Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe who was present at the Commission, did not make any statement before the Commission. The Chairperson of the Commission also informed Dias’s lawyers that unless Wickramasinghe herself gives a statement, no other information given on behalf of her of a different nature could be considered as evidence.

At this juncture, Dias’s lawyers stated that their client was unaware of any complaints or evidence against her. They requested the Commission to grant them permission to obtain copies of all complaints and evidence filed against her.

Wickramasinghe’s lawyers also requested the Commission’s permission to cross-examine the witnesses who have given evidence against their client.

In reply, the Chairman of the Commission stated that after the payment of the fee, all the complaints and copies of the relevant evidence can be provided. The legal representative of Upolu Jayasuriya who is another witness, requested the Commission to give a brief period of time to study the copies of the complaint and the evidence.

Responding to the request, Chairman Upali Abeyratne stated that since the gazette notification for the Presidential Commission has a time limitation of six months, a reasonable period of time will be given to access and study the information.

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