Ranjan tapes : AG directs CCD to record statements from judges

Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC, has instructed the Colombo Crimes Division (CCD) to record statements of the judges who had been involved in telephone conversations with former State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake.
The Coordinating Officer to the Attorney General, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told news media that the Attorney General has directed the CCD to record those statements without delay in order to ensure a comprehensive investigation into the incident. Accordingly, Police will record statements from retired High Court Judge Padmini N. Ranawaka, former Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya and Magistrate Dammika Hemapala.

Ramanayake was on Wednesday (15) ordered to be remanded till January 29 by the Nugegoda Magistrate’s Court for his alleged interference with the functions of the Judges.

The Court also issued an order directing Prison Authorities to produce Ranjan Ramanayake before the Government Analyst for a voice test on January 23 in order to ascertain the authenticity of the leaked telephone conversations.

The prosecution maintained that Ranjan Ramanayake was arrested for committing offences which come under Article 111C(2) of the Constitution. It was in connection with the alleged interference with the functions of the Judges through telephone conversations.

In terms of Article 111C(2) of the Constitution, if a person interferes with the judicial powers (without legal authority) or the functions of any judge, he/she is liable for an offence punishable by the High Court for a period of one year imprisonment term with a fine.

In addition, he/she will be disqualified for a period not exceeding seven years from the date of such a conviction from being an elector and from voting at a Referendum or at any election.

The alleged recording of conversations between Parliamentarian Ramanayake and several members of the Judiciary including two sitting judges have recently gone viral on the Internet and mainstream media in the country.

JSC interdicts Baddegama Magistrate

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has interdicted Baddegama Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala with immediate effect over his alleged involvement in UNP MP Ranjan Ramanayake’s telephone conversations.

The Judicial Services Commission has also sent its recommendations to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the future action to be taken against Embilipitiya High Court Judge Gihan Pilapitiya with regard to his alleged involvement in the controversial telephone conversations.