By Hansi Nanayakkara
The Cardiologist, Deputy Chairman of the Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha and four others, arrested in connection with trafficking and sexual exploitation of a 15-year-old girl, were released on strict bail conditions on Friday (9).
The suspects were identified by the underage girl, during the identification parade before the Colombo Additional Magistrate Lochani Abeywickrema.
They were each released on cash bail in Rs 25,000 and two sureties of Rs 2.5 million each. The Magistrate instructed the Police Children and Women’s Bureau to carry out prompt investigations into the incident, while stating that if in the event of future complaints are lodged against the suspects, the bail granted to them will be cancelled and they will be remanded until the end of the case. The suspects were also ordered to appear before the Police Children and Women’s Bureau on the last Sunday of every month.
The Criminal Investigation Department further revealed to the Court that the web designer of the website in which the minor was advertised is liable to be charged with statutory rape.
While the details displayed on the website have been deleted by the suspect, he had hidden his mobile phone in the washing machine whilst also hiding a pen drive inside of a bulb when they were discovered by the investigation officers. The forensic computer unit producing their findings to Court stated that further investigations into the website and similar websites are being conducted.
While two managers of the hotel and the web designer were also produced before the Court on Friday, two of the suspects were ordered to be produced for an identification parade on 16 July while the web designer was remanded until 20 July. Attorneys-at Law Dasun Gasadhena, Indika Premaratne,Nirmal Kodithuwakku, Priyantha Gunaratne and Roshan Dehiwala appeared on behalf of the suspects.