ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 13

Bhaila incident: Magistrate orders further inquiries

By Malik Gunatilleke

Further inquiries into the alleged assault on British citizen Paul Saverimuttu by the son and private secretary of Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila are to be conducted by the Bambalapitiya Police on the orders of the Additional Magistrate Court of Mount Lavinia.

Both Mr. Saverimuttu and Mr. Azil Bhaila made complaints to the Bambalapitiya police after the two were involved in a clash which turned violent outside Mr. Saverimuttu’s residence in Bambalapitiya. Soon afterwards Mr. Saverimuttu was admitted to hospital with a head injury and internal bleeding under his right eye while Mr. Bhaila received treatment for a chest injury he sustained after Mr. Saverimuttu had allegedly punched him.

The Additional Magistrate Court postponed the case to September 12, by which time the police would have to submit a report on the investigation. Mr. Saverimuttu who was in Sri Lanka for the past two months told The Sunday Times that the police had taken a statement from him on August 18 but when he went to the police station on August 20, the police report had omitted certain details of the incident.

“When my lawyer and I looked at the police report we realised that the injuries that I sustained and the fact that Mr. Bhaila posed as a police officer was kept out. Soon after we made the necessary adjustments,” he said. He said that even though the police had tried to issue an arrest warrant, Mr. Bhaila was not available for arrest as he was reported to be still receiving treatment for his injuries.

Mr. Saverimuttu is preparing a letter to the British High Commission to receive further assistance in the matter from the British Government. Meanwhile, Bambalapitiya police OIC Abeyratne Dissanayake said that the Judicial Medical Officer had submitted a report on Mr. Saverimuttu’s injuries.

However, the report stated that the injuries were minor and had been caused by a blunt object and the police could not take Mr. Bhaila into custody as the offence was not serious enough. He said all the evidence and reports would be presented to court on September 12 after which the next step would be determined.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.