Threatening current CID Director Ex-DIG Gunawardena gets 5 years

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By 2018-02-13

BY Kavindya Perera

Former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Vass Gunawardena was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court (CHC) Judge Gihan Kulathunga yesterday (12). He was found guilty of issuing a death threat to then Assistant Superintendent of Police and now Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Shani Abeysekara, who questioned him during the investigations into the 2013 killing of millionaire businessman Mohammed Shiyam.

The Judge gave this order after a lengthy hearing.

The Attorney General had indicted the former DIG on six counts but he was found not guilty of five. He was however found guilty of the first charge where it was proved that he had threatened Shani Abeysekara with death. On that count he was sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment.

The Judge also ordered the suspect to pay a fine of Rs 25,000 and warned that the failure to pay the fine would result in one more year being added to his prison term.

Announcing his verdict, Judge Kulathunga said, "After the commission of this offence, the witnesses had signed to the effect that such an incident had taken place and it had been conveyed to the Court. Also there is no disparity in the evidence given by both parties. The evidence given by the plaintiff can be accepted. The charge of the criminal intimidation has to be proved. And it has been proved and hereby the accused is found guilty of the first charge beyond reasonable doubt."

The case was filed by the CID, alleging they were verbally threatened by Gunawardena who in June 2013 had reportedly said "I am a murderer; you all are not able to keep me inside forever, when I am out, see what I will do to you all"

DIG Gunawardena was arrested on 10 June, 2013 and remanded by the Colombo Additional Magistrate following the murder of Colombo 4 businessman Mohammed Shiyam.

He was indicted by the Police on 18 June, 2013.

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