His status has become controversial once again. He is Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Kumaran Padmanathan (KP), a former top LTTE leader and chief weapons procurer for the terrorist organisation. He is still wanted in India in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and listed by the Interpol as a wanted person. [...]


The KP mystery: Still no concrete evidence, but not exonerated


His status has become controversial once again. He is Shanmugam Kumaran Tharmalingam alias Kumaran Padmanathan (KP), a former top LTTE leader and chief weapons procurer for the terrorist organisation. He is still wanted in India in connection with the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and listed by the Interpol as a wanted person. Yet he continues to operate a children’s home in Kilinochchi.

(L-R) Prabhakaran, Anton Balasingham, Thamilselvan and an LTTE cadre seen somewhere in the Wanni.

Three army personnel in civvies have been deployed for his security with two vehicles provided by the state as he resides in former LTTE political wing leader S.P. Thamilselvam’s residence in Kilinochchi.

But, the Army denies that Pathmanathan is under its ‘custody’ or ‘surveillance’.
“We have nothing to do with KP (Pathmanathan). We are not providing him with security or maintaining any links with him,” Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera told the Sunday Times.

Investigations against Pathmanathan, if there were any, appear to have come to a grinding halt with the Police reporting to the Attorney General and the AG reporting to court that they have failed to find evidence against him in 46 cases which they have investigated.

The 46 cases were among 193 incidents which were mentioned in a writ application field by JVP Parliamentarian Vijitha Herath in January this year, seeking the arrest of Pathmanathan.

The JVP in its petition had said that Pathmanathan was wanted by the Interpol for questioning on charges ranging from running the global procurement network of the LTTE to possessing 17 forged passports. But the investigators had failed to find evidence against the former LTTE leader.

He was reportedly arrested in August 2009 and brought to Sri Lanka, but since then no formal charges have been filed against him, even though the JVP sought his arrest.

In its petition, Mr. Herath said that KP could be indicted for offences in terms of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Penal Code, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Emigrants and Immigrants Ordinance, and other laws relating to terrorist financing, drug trafficking, collecting arms with the intention of waging war against the state and committing criminal intimidation.

Criminal Investigations Department (CID) chief D.W.R.B. Seneviratne declined to comment about any investigations against KP. But Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said they would ‘reopen’ the probe on allegations against KP.

This week, amidst criticism that the Attorney General had failed to prosecute KP, following the remarks made in court by a Senior Deputy Solicitor General, the AG sent a directive to the IGP to further investigate the allegations against KP.

Attorney General Yuvanjan Wijayatilake in a statement said investigations on allegations against KP have not yet been concluded.
Referring to the writ application filed by the JVP, he said the party had referred to 193 specific incidents of terrorist acts that took place in Sri Lanka between 1983 and 2009. There were also unspecified instances in criminal conduct, where the JVP alleged that KP was involved.

The AG said the court had directed him to file a report regarding the position of the investigations against KP.
Accordingly, he moved for a reasonable time to submit a comprehensive report, considering that information relating to 193 incidents had to be examined.

The AG said his department had called for observations from the police in relation to these incidents, but has not still received information on any of them. “At the time the case was last mentioned before court on August 31st 2015, the Attorney General had received information from the police in respect of 46 incidents referred to in the Petition, where the police had reported the investigations into those incidents have not disclosed the involvement of KP. The Attorney General merely conveyed to court this information, which the police had communicated to the Attorney General’s Department. Therefore, no submission was made to the effect that the Attorney General had exonerated KP.”

“The Attorney General, acting in terms of the powers vested in him by law, has directed the Inspector General of Police to conduct a comprehensive investigation into criminal activities in which KP may have been involved and report whether there is evidence implicating him so that he can be charged.”

Where the Avant Garde case was concerned, he said he acted on the evidence made available by the CID. After careful consideration of the evidence gathered by the CID and the observations submitted by the Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka Navy and other government agencies, it was decided that offences under the Firearms Ordinance, the Explosives Act or the Prevention of Terrorism Act had not been disclosed.

The AG said he had given specific instructions to the CID in June this year to provide to the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, any evidence relating to the case of the Floating Armoury. He was informed that CIABOC was investigating this matter. The CID was further instructed to inform him if it found new evidence of a criminal offence.

AG’s Dept. legal officers say media reports misleading
The Attorney General’s Department Legal Officers’ Association has expressed concern over the increasing number of media reports in which decisions of the Attorney General and its officers have been criticised.

The Association’s Secretary L. Girihagama in a media statement said the AG’s Department followed a procedural system which had stood the test of time. This procedure ensured that the final decision taken with regard to any case or legal opinion was based on a thorough examination of all available material and, where necessary, after calling for additional material and after consultation with more than one officer.

Referring to the Avant Garde Floating Armoury case, the association said the officer who was originally allocated the file prepared an initial report which was based on statements and investigation notes made available by the ClD. The final decision was taken after observations from the Ministry of Defence, the Navy, the Director of Merchant Shipping and others were taken into consideration.

In response to media reports on Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), the association said the criticisms were based on assumptions reached upon misreported facts pertaining to proceedings before the Court of Appeal on the last date of the case.

“It is stressed that the case is not one before a criminal court with specific allegations/charges against KP. Instead, the case has been filed under public law seeking the remedy of a Writ of Mandamus on the Attorney General to prosecute KP in relation to several specified incidents and unspecified incidents. As already clarified, the Senior Deputy Solicitor General who represented the Attorney General on 31st August 2015 communicated to court the preliminary information received from the police at that point in respect of some of the incidents referred to in the Petition and requested further time to submit a comprehensive report after obtaining more information,” the association said.

“This was pursuant to the Court of Appeal having directed the Attorney General to assist court. The very fact that court granted further time until 28th October 2015 to submit a report after receiving all the information demonstrates that the Attorney General did not make any submission exonerating KP,” it added.

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