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Court orders SDIG to probe filming of suspect in Police cell

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Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Bandula Gunaratne ordered Northwestern Province SDIG Lalith Pathinayake to conduct an investigation immediately and report to Court immediately regarding a case where a suspect who was detained in the prison cell of the Kurunegala Headquarters Police Station was filmed and the footage was released on the Internet.

The Chief Magistrate ordered this, taking into consideration the special facts presented to the Court by Senior counsel Keerthi Dunusinghe on behalf of the suspect who was involved in an incident of assaulting a person and robbing him of money near the Kurunegala shopping complex.

Presenting facts to Court on behalf of the suspect, attorney Dunusinghe said that his client was arrested by the Kurunegala headquarters police on suspicion of a cash theft and was detained in the police cell until he was brought before court.

The senior lawyer stressed to Court that while his client was in the Police cell, someone had taken live video footage of him in the cell and published it on the internet. He pointed out that his client had been severely prejudiced by this incident.

Considering the lawyers’s facts, the Chief Magistrate asked the officers of the Kurunegala Headquarters Police, who appeared in the open Court at that time, what the Police had to say about this incident.

Police informed the Chief Magistrate that they did not know anything about this incident.

Later, responding to the statement of the Police, senior lawyer Keerthi Dunusinghe showed the video footage of his client in the cell circulating on the Internet and said that the armoury of the Kurunegala headquarters Police is located near the Police lockup and the weapons in it could also be stolen like this without the knowledge of the Police.

Counsel Dunusinghe insisted that it is a serious violation of media ethics to take videos of suspects detained in Police cells and publicise them through the media.

The attorney told Court that his client, his wife and children had suffered a great injustice due to the fact that his client’s locking up in the jail cell had been published on the Internet. He said that they were in great distress and requested Court to pay special attention to the matter.

Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Bandula Gunaratne, who took into consideration the lawyer’s submissions, ordered the North Western Province Senior DIG Lalith Pathinayake to immediately conduct a formal investigation into the video footage and ordered the report released to Court immediately.

The Chief Magistrate, who refused the request of the Police to remand the suspect who was presented to Court in connection with an incident of assaulting a person and robbing him of money near the Kurunegala shopping complex, ordered to release the suspect on a surety of Rs. 200,000. The suspect is a resident of Rideegama.

The post Court orders SDIG to probe filming of suspect in Police cell appeared first on DailyNews.

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