Extensive investigation launched into the loss of communication data on the X-Press Pearl ship, Court informed

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Extensive investigation launched into the loss of communication data on the X-Press Pearl ship, Court informed


Tue, Jul 13, 2021, 11:31 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 13, Colombo: The Attorney General informed the Colombo Magistrate’s Court today that an extensive investigation has been launched into the alleged deletion of data recorded on MV X-Press Pearl’s communications between the ship’s captain and the Harbor Master of the Colombo Port during the fire.

Deputy Solicitor General Madhava Tennakoon, who appeared for the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), said the data pertaining to the exchange between the vessel’s captain and the Harbor Master during the time when the ship caught fire has been erased.

The Deputy Solicitor General made this revelation when the complaint was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochana Abeywickrema today.

The Deputy Solicitor General of the Government told the court that the data in the radio transmitter at the Harbor Master’s office was being investigated through the local agency of the company that manufactured the machine which was at the harbormaster’s office.

The Deputy Solicitor General said that it had been revealed that the data for the period between May 01 and June 10 had been deleted. The Harbor Master and the officials of the office were questioned and their statements have been recorded, he said.

The Deputy Solicitor General said investigations are being carried out to find out how the data got deleted and who is responsible for the incident. He added that if the investigations revealed information about the persons responsible for the incident, he would not hesitate to enforce the law against them irrespective of their rank.

Mr. Sarath Jayamanne, PC, who appeared for the captain of the ship at the time, told the court that although he had repeatedly requested that the data in the radio transmitter in the Harbor Master’s office be checked from the beginning of the investigation, the CID had deliberately avoided checking it.

Mr. Jayamanne, PC, pointed out that if the data had been checked, it would have been possible to find out the truth about the incident and the claim that the data had been lost gives rise to suspicion.

Mr. Jayamanne, PC, pointed out that he suspects that the CID was acting in this manner to prevent the truth from being revealed and the people do not have the assistance of law in a place where an independent investigation is not carried out.

The plaintiff had stated in court recently that a large number of sea creatures had died due to the fire that had occurred in the ship.

The President’s Counsel alleged that the Harbor Master was directly responsible for the deaths of the sea creatures and that the tragedy was due to the irresponsible actions of the Harbor Master.

However, Deputy Solicitor General Madhava Tennakoon denied the allegations and said that an independent inquiry had already been launched into the deletion.

The Deputy Solicitor General pointed out that the CID had no intention of concealing the truth and would not hesitate to take legal action against anyone, regardless of rank, if it was revealed that a person was involved in the deletion.

The Deputy Solicitor General of the Government requested the court to lift the travel ban imposed on 14 of the 24 crew members of the ship involved in the incident as it could be lifted.

The Magistrate granted the request and directed the Controller of Immigration and Emigration to lift the travel ban of 14 members of the ship’s crew.

The Deputy Solicitor General also requested that an order be issued to submit a report on the water and soil samples obtained from various places in connection with the shipwreck incident to the Government Analyst.

The Magistrate granted the request and directed the CID to send the relevant samples to the Government Analyst for a report.

The Magistrate ordered the case to be called back on the 30th and ordered the CID to submit a progress report on the same day.

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