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CID's comedic act and Sirasa's media ethics (Video)

As the country was celebrating its 70th Independence, the live telecast of the arrest of the owner of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius and the company’s CEO Kasun Palisena by Sirasa once again has brought in to question the television channels media ethics while also damaging the good name of the Criminal Investigations Department.

As the arrests were being made after a ‘b’ report was presented to the Fort magistrate on Friday by the OIC of the Financial Fraud Division within the CID it has been pointed out that the CID officers had forgotten on important legal principle.

That is, the suspects, Lakshman Arjuna Mahendran, Arjun Joseph Aloysius and Kasun Oshadhi Palisena are in fact merely suspects.

The documents presented by the CID to courts itself says “We plead before the courts that these men are to be considered as suspects”.

But watching the situation that unfolded the question arises if were two out of the three arrested today arrested after being considered as suspects? Or as convicts?

Not notified to hand themselves over

Does the CID not know of the simple legal principle that after being presented to the Fort magistrate the duo is being remanded as mere suspects and not convicts? ?

Despite being granted permission to make the arrests however the CID had at no time informed the suspects to hand themselves over. Instead, while they go on to surround the residences of the suspects a comedy act is acted out before a Sirasa media crew armed with cameras.

While the former governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran is known to be abroad during the presentation of the ‘b’ report by the CID, Alysious and Palisena were in open society within the country at the time.

It is true that on the information presented to the courts the duo is suspected of committing an offence or offences against public property which allows the CID to arrest them sans a warrant due to the crime falling under cognizable offences.

Proper respect and dignity?

But even such an arrest should be done while ensuring every suspect's respect and dignity.

Despite various media reports in the last few weeks predicting their impending arrests prior to February 7 and of the ‘b’ report submitted on Friday these two suspects had not attempted to flee the country at any time. Therefore it is clear would have in fact handed themselves over if they were notified to do so.

But the CID had failed to do so. That is why we are now forced to claim that the script of this comedic act is in fact very weak.

The CID, in fact, has no right to arrest even the most dastardly criminal in the manner of shooting a teledrama as was done during these arrests.

How did Sirasa find out?

The incident also brings into question as to how Sirasa was prior notified of an arrest which was unknown to even Arjun Aloysius.

While some may put it down to their talent however their media ethics has left much to be desired.

Do they have a personal grudge against the arrested men? This charade is in fact yet another display of irresponsible behaviour of this leading TV channel that operates with a broadcasting license in a country full of taxpayers.

One of the fundamental principles of criminal law is that “A suspect is not considered to be a criminal until the end of the court procedure and a verdict is given”

A legal principle known to even school children is called the ‘presumption of innocence’ where a person is considered as being innocent until proven guilty.

This is considered as one of the roots of the rule of law, which has been seen throughout the world for many centuries ‘The rule of law’ which President Maithripala Sirisena continues to evoke on election stages is, in fact, the base of ‘good governance’.

A push for the President’s Independence speech?

Speaking close to the time of these arrests at the 70th Independence Day celebrations President Sirisena said: "Today's patriotism means dealing acting with financial discipline".

Therefore it is questionable if the CID conducted this charade during the arrests connected to what is considered as one of the largest financial frauds in the country to please the President or another powerful politician.

In the past incidents of ‘Kondaya’ and the rapist of Giribawa we have seen the ugly scenes how civilians are dragged away as suspects by the Police. These were also accompanied with cheap media circuses in a similar manner.

But the investigations in to this serious financial fraud was conducted by one of highest authorities of the Police the CID and not the village Police.

While we have commended the behaviours of these officers in instances such as the Vidya sexual assault case however this incident has tarnished the name of the department which is unfortunate.

In the past incidents of ‘Kondaya’ and the rapist of Giribawa we have seen the ugly scenes how civilians are dragged away as suspects by the Police. These were also accompanied with cheap media circuses in a similar manner.

But the investigations in to this serious financial fraud was conducted by one of highest authorities of the Police the CID and not the village Police.

While we have commended the behaviours of these officers in instances such as the Vidya sexual assault case however this incident has tarnished the name of the department which is unfortunate.

Fundamental Rights of the suspects violated :

 They have clearly violated the fundamental rights of these suspects and provided evidence of this live to the country as well due to the live telecast by a television channel.

However the end result is that the CID will be put in a difficult situation. If the CID’s real intent is to ensure justice then they should first stop attemtping to please politicians while not supporting media circuses as seen today.

Source : (lankanewsweb.net)

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