The Co-Editor of the Nation newspaper was abducted on May 22, 2008 and journalists and former State Administration and Internal Affairs Minister Karu Jayasuriya had notified the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa of the abduction and Noyahr was released in Mount Lavinia the next day.
The CID had notified Court that in addition to the former minister, the Chief Editor of the Nation Lalith Alahakoon and the Chairman of the Rivira Group Krishantha Cooray had notified the former President about the abduction.
Reason for Karu’s resignation!
The CID had told court that during Karu Jayasuriya’s statement he had said that Noyahr’s abduction was a cause for shame and that this incident was instrumental in him resigning from the government.
However, when the CID had gone to the former President’s official residence yesterday for a statement, he had told the CID officers that he has no recollection of the telephone call made to him by Karu Jayasuriya on the night of May 22, 2008.
However, if was indicated by MP Mahinda Rajapaksa subsequent to the CID statement that he was instrumental in having Noyahr released.
Is it wrong to have released a journalist?
“I asked the CID officers whether releasing him was an offence,” Rajapaksa told media outside his home.
Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne, Senior DIG Shani Abeysekara, DIG B.S.P. Tissera and OIC of the Organised Crimes Division Nishantha de Silva were seen at the former President’s home representing the CID.
It was also reported that during the CID investigation, former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Prof. G.L. Peiris, Attorneys Jayantha Weerasinghe, Ali Sabri and Premnath C. Dolawatte were present with the former President.
Having undergone severe torture and hospitalised, Keith Noyahr had taken measures to leave the country and head to Australia the very next day. The CID had gone to Australia several weeks ago in order to obtain a statement from Noyahr.
Investigation regarding the release of a journalist!
Several pro Mahinda MPs and supporters were seen at the former President’s residence on Wijerama Mawatha during the CID’s presence.
Among them, MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena told media that this was an investigation by the CID about the releasing of a journalist.
The Military Intelligence officers arrested in connection with the abduction of Keith Noyahr including Major Prabath Bandara Bulathwatte, Sergeant Duminda Weeraratne, Hemachandra Perera, Corporal Lasantha Wimalaweera and Nishantha Jayatillake are currently released on bail.
However, the Director of Military Intelligence Major General Amal Karunasekara is in remand custody.
According to the CID, the military officers were attached to the Tripoli Military Camp in Slave Island.