Magistrate directs Police to conduct probe on doctor who recorded girl’s statement | Daily News
Death of domestic at MP Rishad’s residence

Magistrate directs Police to conduct probe on doctor who recorded girl’s statement

Colombo Additional Magistrate Rajindra Jayasuriya yesterday directed the Police to conduct an investigation on the doctor of the Colombo National Hospital who had recorded the statement of the girl claiming that the girl had stated at the time of admission that she had “set herself on fire”.

The Magistrate pointed out that the doctor’s statement was important to ascertain whether the girl was conscious at the time of her admission to the hospital and directed the Police to take immediate action in this regard.

The Magistrate made this order when the case pertaining to the death of the girl who was allegedly burnt to death at the residence of MP Rishad Bathiudeen was taken up yesterday (9).

Deputy Solicitor General Dilipa Peiris, who appeared before court on behalf of the Attorney General, said that the girl had sustained 79% burn injuries to her body and that several doctors had noted that the girl was unconscious at the time.

However, even when a police officer had gone to video record her statement while she was in the ICE, she had said, “Don’t hit me, don’t pick up the phone,” but no such statement had been made.

The Deputy Solicitor General said that at the time of her admission to the intensive care unit, a doctor by the name of Randika had recorded that she had claimed to have set fire to herself. But, when they had attempted to obtain a statement from that doctor, it had come to their notice that he had gone to England.

ASP of the Colombo Crimes Division Neville Silva told court that the Director of the Colombo National Hospital had assured them that he would connect them with this doctor.

Commenting further on the incident, Deputy Solicitor General Dilipa Peiris said that the media should not engage in secondary abuse of the girl, adding that the police is releasing the progress of the investigation to the media even reporting it to the court just to gain popularity.

The Deputy Solicitor General also asked the court to issue an order in this regard, pointing out that this was done through the police spokesman and that this could obstruct investigations, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in prison.

The Magistrate questioned the Police as to whether the investigation could be obstructed or how the investigation is carried out, warning the police that it is they who warn those to be arrested to abscond.

The Deputy Solicitor General, who said the body was exhumed following a Court order on June 21, said a forensic team was conducting an analysis of the body parts and are conducting in-depth bone-related investigations.

He noted that at the time of the incident, the Minister had called a security officer to take the girl to the hospital and pointed out that they did not have any urgency to take the girl to the hospital.

He further said that a high ranking Police officer attached to COVID duties had brought the girl’s parents to the room of the Minister’s home and threatened them by showing a bottle of Kerosene oil to them and told them that it was over a year old and that even the cap cannot be opened.

Deputy Solicitor Dilip Peiris pointed out that there is reasonable suspicion regarding these statements, adding that the Government Analyst’s Report has been called regarding these items.

He said that it was a surprise that no items in the house were damaged during the girl’s journey from where she had allegedly set her self on fire to the pool in the living room.

Is this really a suicide? An accident? Murder? Dilipa Peiris stated noting that the statement of the doctor in the Intensive Care Unit is being investigated. He also said that several suspects are being investigated over cruelty, human trafficking and slavery, adding that several others who had been employed at Bathiudeen’s residence had also complained of constant harassment.

He said that no action had been taken to obtain the girl’s Birth Certificate or Identity Card until she died. He also asked the court to refer the CCTV of the house to the Government Analyst and call for a report.

The aggrieved party objected to the granting of bail on behalf of the suspects, stating that there was a possibility of influencing the evidence.

A panel of lawyers including President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne, Kalinga Indatissa and Anil Silva appeared for the suspects and stated that the use of the girl as a servant was legal and that there was no strong evidence to proceed with the case.

President’s Counsel Anil Silva pointed to the judgments of several foreign countries and requested that their suspects be granted bail in view of the current situation on COVID.

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa has asked Court to acquit his client, pointing out that the allegation against his client in connection with a rape that took place five years ago is a case that cannot be proved.

Responding to the defendants’ submissions, Deputy Solicitor General Dilipa Peiris said that despite the decision of all four parties, the verdict of the COVID case in Sri Lanka should be investigated.

He noted that attempts had been made to bribe a Chief Inspector and said that this is in an attempt to conceal evidence. He said that if the suspects are given bail it could impact on the case.

“We will not allow the law to be broken. Do not come to tell us to release these suspects. We know that a crime has been committed under the power of the wealthy. He said it is his duty to prosecute and bring justice to the victims.

After considering the relevant facts, the Magistrate ordered that the accused be remanded until August 23 as the prosecution had obtained a telephone record of a witness in the case proves that there is a possibility of influencing the witnesses in the case.

She also ordered the IGP to investigate the Police Spokesman’s information to the media and submit a report to Court.

Deputy Solicitor General Dilipa Peiris was accompanied by OIC of the Colombo South Women’s Bureau Sub Inspector Balasuriya while Assistant Superintendent of Police Neville Silva of the Colombo Crimes Division represented the victim.

A panel of lawyers including President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa, President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne and President’s Counsel Anil Silva appeared for the suspects.

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