For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
The Criminal Investigation Department(CID) yesterday told court that Sri Lankamirror.com and Xnews.com websites cannot be considered media institutes as they have been identified as scurrilous and mudslinging websites. CID Inspector Anura de Silva doubted whether the suspects arrested by the Police were in fact professional journalists.
The CID Inspector made this statement when the case against the Srilankamirror.com and Xnews.com webstes was taken up before Colombo Additional Magistrate K.A.G. Punchihewa.
Inspector Silva observed that all newspapers that followed the code of ethics for media have identified these websites as purveyors of slander and mudslinging.
Showing a newspaper to courts, the CID Inspector queried as to who introduced these websites as media institutes.
He informed court that the Attonery General has given instructions over the release of computers which were taken into custody at the places where these websites were operating. He said the CID will raise no objection to release the computers on condition that the defendants should accept what is contained in the computers. He also stated that the defendents should comply with the condition that no change or alteration should be done to the data contained in these computers.
In addition, the CID yesterday produced data contained in three more computers before the court to be placed in the court safe. Attorney At Law Upul Kumaraperuma and the CID made lengthy submissions over the release of computers and the instructions issued by the Attorney General. After considering the submissions by the two parties, the magistrate refused to release the computers and the case was put off untill September 4. The suspects who were arrested by the court and later released on bail also appeared in courts.