Swiss Embassy staffer to be indicted
By Hansi Nanayakkara
The Criminal Investigations Department yesterday (22) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Mohammad Mihal, the probe conducted by them against Swiss Embassy employee Garnier Bannister Francis, on charges of providing bogus information to destabilise the Government, had been concluded.
They said, they now intend to indict Francis, before the Colombo High Court shortly. Francis, who was arrested and produced in Court on the aforesaid charge, was remanded and subsequently enlarged on bail. The CID made these submissions to Magistrate Mihal, through a motion.
An Acting Officer at the Swiss Embassy lodged a complaint with the Acting Inspector General of Police on 27 November last year, that its employee Francis had been abducted from the Cinnamon Gardens area by a five-member gang and was sexually harassed and detained for hours for questioning, regarding granting visas to ex-CID Officer Nishantha Silva.
The CID had begun a probe into the incident based on advice received from the Acting IGP, while in the complaint it had been stated that the plaintiff had been kidnapped when she had been on her way to her child’s school.
The prosecution said, while conducting the probe, they had informed Francis to be present at the CID to provide statements in this connection and asserted that on failing to adhere to the orders, the previous Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne had ordered to impound her passport. They further said that former Chief Magistrate Jayaratne had ordered Francis to report to the CID and give statements to them before 9 December last year.
The CID then said, on 16 December 2019, based on instructions received from the Attorney General, Francis had been named as a suspect in the case and was arrested her and produced before Court. The suspect was then ordered to be enlarged on bail by the Court on 30 December 2019.