Warrant issued against CWE chairman, Recalled
Oct 8, 2013

The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday issued an arrest warrant against the Chairman of the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) for not being present in Court, regarding an inquiry for failing to provide video footage pertaining to the Sathosa building fire which broke out on July 31.

However, counsel who appeared for CWE Chairman Eraj Priyantha Fernando in the afternoon, asked Court that the warrant issued against his client be withdrawn. Subsequently, Magistrate Thilina Gamage recalled the warrant issued against the CWE Chairman.

At a previous magisterial inquiry, the Court had ordered the Chairman to hand over the video footage obtained from the CCTV surveillance cameras at the Sathosa Building, to the Slave Island police, to help them with their investigations.

However, the Slave Island Police had complained to Court that even after a lapse of one month, the CWE Even after a lapse of one month, the CWE Chairman had failed to provide the video footage to the police Chairman had failed to provide the video footage to the police. Accordingly, the Magistrate had issued notice on the CWE Chairman to appear in Court on October 7, to show cause as to why he had failed to hand them over to the police.

When the case came up before Court yesterday, the CWE Chairman was not present in Court and the Magistrate issued an arrest warrant against him. However, filing a motion before Court, counsel who appeared for the Chairman informed Court that his client had just received the relevant notice directing him to appear before Court around 10.30 am yesterday.

Further magisterial inquiry into the matter was fixed for November 11.

Slave Island police had informed Court that the CCTV cameras installed at the Sathosa Building had been disconnected on the day of the fire. Police further said investigations had revealed that one of the security officers on duty had been intoxicated at the time of the incident. Police also said the Government Analyst had reported that the fire had been deliberately started and had caused a loss of Rs.33 million to the Sathosa.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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