A complaint was lodged at the National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses calling on authorities to take action against the intimidation of the wife of Sumith Prasanna Jayewardene, the father of one who was killed in Embilipitiya at a party recently.
Attorney-at-Law Udul Premaratne said that the National Authority chaired by retired High Court Judge Wimal Nambuwasam had assured that the matter would be looked into seriously.
The Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act defines the influencing (including undue influence) of victims and witnesses also as a form of threat, he added.
“It has been over a month now since his death. This is a serious crime. Witnesses anyway get discouraged when they realize that the other side is powerful. Sumith’s wife has been receiving many calls suggesting to her that she not continue with the case as it is pointless and for her to think about the welfare of her child and also of the child she is expecting. She is being told that even the lawyers and journalists supporting her now would put her in trouble eventually. She is being told that continuing on with the case would only aggravate the Police. She is in certain cases being offered money to drop this. All of this is to dissuade and discourage her. We have obtained a sworn affidavit from her and lodged it as a complaint to the said Authority. When the house of the lawyer representing her is attacked, the witness cum victim becomes more scared. Over 21 Police officers involved in the incident are still engaged in active duty and have not been arrested despite a Court order. Who else wants to attack the lawyer other than them,” he mentioned.