Case filed against embassy staff member scheduled for pre-trial on October 125

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The case filed against Swiss Embassy staff member Garnier Bannister for allegedly providing false information to embarrass the government has been set for a pre-trial on October 12 by the Colombo High Court.

The case was brought before Judge Namal Balalle of the Colombo High Court. The President’s attorney, Kalinga Indatissa, appearing for the defence, made submissions to the court and requested the court to fix the case for a pre-trial conference.

Deputy Solicitor General Janaka Bandara, appearing on behalf of the Attorney General in court, pointed out that the trial had already been delayed for various reasons and requested that a shorter date be set for the pre-trial conference.

Considering the arguments presented by both parties, the Colombo High Court Judge ordered the case to be brought to the pre-trial conference on October 12.

The Attorney General filed an indictment in the Colombo High Court against Garnier Bannister Francis, a staff member of the Swiss Embassy, ​​for fabricating false evidence regarding his abduction by CID agents. Garnier Bannister Francis, a Sri Lankan Tamil woman from Maligawatta who works at the Swiss Embassy as a visa officer, filed a complaint that she was abducted and assaulted by five men in the Cinnamon Gardens area ( Kuruduwatta) on November 25, 2019, sexually assaulted and detained for several hours after being interrogated, over the alleged issuance of a visa to Nishantha Silva who worked as a CID inspector. A second official from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Switzerland had filed a written complaint with the Acting Inspector General of Police on November 27, 2019.

The CID had opened investigations on the instructions of the Acting Inspector General of Police and the complaint stated that the abducted woman had been abducted on her way to her child’s school that day.

During the investigation, Garnier Barrister Francis was summoned to the CID for questioning, but failing to do so, the Chief Magistrate of Colombo imposed a travel ban on him and ordered him to appear before the CID by December 9.

Also, on December 16, on the instructions of the Attorney General, Garnier Barrister was implicated in the case and was arrested by the CID and presented in court. She was then remanded in custody and released on bail on December 30, 2019.

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