The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP) together with the US law firm Hausfeld have filed a civil damages case in California against former secretary to the ministry of defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The case was filed on behalf of Roy Samathanam in the Central District Court of California, ITJP said in a press statement today.
ITJP claimed that Canadian national, Roy Samathanam was detained in Sri Lankan in September 2007 by the Terrorism Investigation Division of the Sri Lanka police, who reported directly to Rajapaksa.
Further the statement claimed that Samathanam was "physically and psychologically tortured and forced to sign a false confession before being released in August 2010 on a plea deal and payment of a fine. In 2016. Samathanam won a UN human rights committee case but Sri Lanka has failed to abide by the compensation ruling."
Accordingly, ITJP said that summons were issued on Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday (Apr 07) night after private investigators tracked down Rajapaksa who was on holiday.
Notice was officially served to Rajapaksa at a parking lot of Trader Joe's store in California.
At the same time ITJP said notice was also served in a separate case filed by another organisation on behalf of Ahimsa Wickrematunge the daughter of slain journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga.
“Mr. Rajapaksa has to give up his US citizenship to be able to stand in presidential elections so this was probably the last chance for a long time to begin to hold him accountable,” ITJP’s executive director Yasmin Sooka was quoted as saying.