Indictment against Jaffna GA dropped

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 24 February 1998, 23:59 GMT]
An indictment against the former Government Agent of Jaffna, Mr. C. Pathmanthan, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act was withdrawn by Sri Lanka's Attorney General's Department (AGD)today, said legal sources . The case came up before Colombo High Court Judge Shirani Thillekewardene.

Mr. Pathmanthan was charged by the Sri Lankan State for not disclosing information on known Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) activists in Jaffna.

The charge refers to transport of goods in the Jaffna District during the period before Operation Riviresa, when the Peninsula was under the administrative control of the LTTE.

Transport of goods in Jaffna was handled by the Transporters' Union there. Goods such as dry rations were transported to the retail outlets by lorries of the Union.

The AGD charged that part of the payment made by the Sri Lankan government to the Transport Union had found its way to the LTTE.

The case of the Defence attorneys' was that the GA had only paid the Transporters' Union and that he was unaware that any part of it was paid to the LTTE.

The Defence argued that Mr. Pathmanthan was sent to do a job and that he carried it out to the best of his ability under trying circumstances.

The Defence also said that official reports and all other bureaucratic requirements were scrupulously adhered to or produced by Mr. Pathmanthan during his period in office.

When the State arrested and filed charges against Mr. Pathmanthan, he filed a fundamental rights application in the Supreme Court against the State for arresting and detaining him.

After going through the evidence submitted by the defence, the State realised that there was nothing on which it could charge Mr. Pathmanthan of criminal collaboration with the LTTE said the former GA's attorneys.

A settlement was finally reached when the State agreed to withdraw charges if Mr. Pathmanthan withdrew the FR application he had filed in the supreme court.

Today the State decided that that Mr. Pathmanthan would not be indicted as he had withdrawn his FR application.

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