For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
Colombo additional magistrate Prasanna Alwis today (Aug. 10) ordered the CID to obtain a written submission from the attorney general as to whether the computers seized from srilankamirror website were needed to be retained any longer for investigation.
The court was taking up the case pertaining to the raid on the Srilankamirror and srilankaxnews websites, the arrest of nine employees and the seizure of computers.
CID inspector Anura de Silva was ordered to personally meet additional solicitor general Jayantha Jayasuriya and obtain a written submission and present it to the court at the next hearing on August 21.
The CID informed the court that five of the seized computers had been checked and reports submitted by the Colombo University, and that the computers cannot be released since they contained data which are deemed offensive under the Obscene Publications Act.
Lawyer Upul Kumarapperuma, who represents the interests of the respondents, rejected the claim and alleged the CID was trying to delay the releasing of the computers in order to close down the website.
Noting that Srilankamirror is a news website, he said even a picture of famed Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe could be described as obscene, and that King Kashyapa put in jail over the Sigiriya Damsels and Pundit W.D. Amaradeva imprisoned for having sung about the beauty of women.
During the raid, the CID arrested, and the court subsequently released on bail Srilankamirror editor Kelum Shivantha, photographer Ajith Seneviratne, journalists Shiranthani Manawadu, Himashi Karunaratne, Tharindu Rajapakse and marketing manager Asanka Niwantha, as well as srilankaxnews journalists Subhash Jayawardena and Siddique Kariyappar.
Nine computers were also seized.