The Colombo Additional Magistrate yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne.
This was in connection with the controversial ‘White Van ‘ media briefing which he called during the last presidential election.
The arrest warrant has been issued following the submissions made by the Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris on behalf of the Criminal Investigation Department.
He told the court that the former minister had committed an offense under the provisions of the Penal Code Ordinance and the Presidential Elections Act and therefore sought a warrant for his arrest.
Colombo Additional Magistrate B. Nelumdeniya, accepted following the request of the Deputy Solicitor General, issued a warrant for the arrest of MP Rajitha Senaratne.
The second anticipatory bail application filed by the former Minister of Health was to be reviewed on December 30, before the CID arrested him.
After inquiries into the white van news briefing, Attorney General Dampula de Livara instructed the CID to obtain a warrant for his arrest and to arrest former Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne.
Senaratne had summoned the press conference on November 10 this year with the participation of Anthony Douglas Fernando and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake.
During the meeting, the two men made controversial statements about the “White Van” and said that during the reign of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, there had been some abductions, murders, robberies and enforced disappearances.
One of them claimed he was a “White Van” driver involved in the abduction, while the other claimed that he worked as a driver to transport a large quantity of gold in LTTE-held areas.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne on the 2 nd of this press conference.
In response to a request made by the CID, the Chief Magistrate ordered several media institutions to submit the non-edited videos of the press conference to investigators for further investigations.
The Criminal Investigations Department has commenced investigations into the complaint lodged by a person named Kumudu Pradeep Sanjeewa Perera.
The CID then arrested the two suspects and held them for 72 hours for interrogation.
The suspects were produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate and remanded till December 27.