For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The court case pertaining to the Sri Lanka Mirror and Sri Lanka X News websites has been put off until July 23.
The postponement came in view of a strike by lawyers to protest an attack on the Mannar courts complex a few days ago.
Written submissions were to be made at today’s (July 20) hearing.
Sri Lanka Mirror editor Kelum Shivantha, photographer Ajith Seneviratne, journalists Shiranthi Manawadu, Himashi Karunaratne, Tharindu Rajapakse, marketing manager Asanka Nimantha along with Sri Lanka X News journalists Subash Jayawardene and Siddique Kariappar were present at the court.
The CID searched the office and arrested the journalists attached to the two websites on June 29 on a warrant issued by the Colombo magistrate’s court.
On the following day, all were produced before courts and released on police bail.
The journalists were arrested on a charge of having committed an offence under clauses 115, 118 and 120 of the Penal Code.
However, clause 118 was amended by the amendment act no: 12 of 2002.
Meanwhile, our computers, seized by the CID, have been sent to the IT unit of the Colombo University.
Further, in connection with this case, Director editorial of Sri Lanka X news and former director editorial of Sri Lanka Mirror, Ruwan Ferdinandis was presented to courts where the CID stated that he was not wanted as a suspect in the case.
Seven of those taken into custody, including the editor of Sri Lanka Mirror, recently filed fundamental rights petitions against the CID in the Supreme Court.
A team of lawyers, led by senior lawyers Saliya Peiris and Upul Kumarapperuma, are appearing for the two websites.