Confusion Over Red Notice aginst Lanka E News Editor
( November 26, 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A Sri Lankan court on Friday issued an international arrest warrant on a Sri Lankan journalist based in the United Kingdom (UK), on charges of contempt of court.
This is the first time a Sri Lankan court has issued an international arrest warrant against a journalist.
The Gamapaha Chief Magistrate issued the warrant on the Lankaenews editor, Sandaruwan Senadheera, and ordered the warrant be issued via INTERPOL.
The Gamapaha Chief Magistrate Kaweendra Nanayakkara also instructed the Department of Immigration and Emigration to arrest the editor if he arrives in Sri Lanka.
Minister of Justice Wijedasa Rajapakse recently informed Parliament that legal action will be pursued against Senadheera for insulting the country’s judges using the Lankaenews website.
The Deputy Mayor of Sri Jayawardenapura, Madura Vithanage also recently sought the Court’s jurisdiction to charge Senadheera for allegedly publishing defamatory articles on his website.
Vithanage complained that there had been a series of articles published on the website and on its social media, defaming judges and castigating their character.
Meanwhile, commenting on this, an international lawyer dealing with Interpol warrants told the media that there was no substance in it and that it was only an outcry by those who are ignorant of the international warrants law.
That is because, before issuing a red warrant against someone, that person should be made a party to the legal proceeding. The term used for that is blue notice. Thereafter, the blue notice should be issued to the person in question and get a response from that person. Then, the prosecution takes place on the basis of the blue notice. After that, a red warrant can be issued if the person is found guilty only. The person in question can lodge an appeal with Interpol’s Commissioner for Interpol Control Files (CCF). If the commissioner is convinced that the red warrant had been obtained on political grounds, the warrant can be cancelled and a fine imposed against the country that issued the warrant.
Also, the procedure to get a warrant implemented through Interpol is long and difficult. For the entire process, it takes at least five years. A top official of Sri Lanka police said not even a notorious terrorist had so far been brought to Sri Lanka through Interpol.
~ (Xinhua and Sri Lanka Guardian)
External Link 02: What is the purpose of an INTERPOL Red Notice?