PTL officer to be arrested for altering call data



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Sachitj Devathantri (Pic by Saman Ranaweera)


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena


Presidential Commission of Inquiry, probing the bond scams, resumed yesterday with Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera PC stating that Chief Dealer of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt.) Ltd (PTL) Nuwan Salgado, who had ordered that the data in the PTL voice logger system be deleted would be arrested forthwith.


The SASG told the Commission that Salgado had committed a serious offence under the Penal Code of Sri Lanka.


Head of the Technical Division of the PTL, Sachitj Devathantri, giving evidence before the commission, said he had instructed that data in the PTL computers be altered on the orders of Salgado.


Devathanthri, questioned by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Yasantha Kodagoda, PC, revealed how data had been altered.


Both SASG de Livera and ASG Kodagoda told the Commission that Salgado had, at the behest of someone, distorted incoming and outgoing telephone numbers so as to mislead the commission and it was a serious offence.


Devathanthri's evidence revealed that some selected telephone calls had been removed from the system and telephone numbers obtained from a different computer had been inserted in their place.


Devathanthri said three DVDs containing telephone numbers removed from the company's computer had been taken away by Salgado and they could still be in his possession.


Salgado had given the serial numbers of 15 wave files (telephone recordings) to be deleted, Devathantri said, adding that the numbers had been written on pages of Salgado’s notebook. Sealed envelopes containing three pieces of paper with the numbers written thereon, was opened before the commission. Devathanthri identified the handwritings on the pieces of paper though he initially claimed it was difficult to do so. He said they had been written by three persons, namely Sagado, Kaushitha Rathnaweera and Anjana Jayasinghe. He had been instructed to carry out the task on June 05, 2017, Devathanthri said.


Devathanthri told the commission he had informed Salgado that when wave files were deleted there would be gaps, which had to be filled by some other wave files. Asked by ASG Kodagoda whether Salgago had agreed to his suggestion, Devathantrhi answered in the affirmative. He said 15 wave files of internal calls had been used to fill the gaps.


Justice Jayawardena asked Devathanthri whether Salgado had thanked him. The witness remained silent.


(Laughter)


When the witness smiled, ASG Kodagoda told him it was no laughing matter.


At this juncture, ASG Kodagoda requested the Commission to order Sagado to hand over those DVDs to the commission.


ASG Kodagoda asked Devathanthri who was above Salgado and the latter said, "Boss." Asked who the boss was, Devathanthri said, "Arjun Aloysius." Kodagoda asked Devathanthri whether Salgado was instructed by Kasun Palisena, who took orders from Aloysius. The witness said it was so.


The Commission issued an order to that effect and asked the Secretary to the Commission to covey it to Salgado by telephone and fax.


SASG de Livera told the Commission the IGP had to be informed of how the data in the PTL computers had been changed for the CID to conduct an in-depth investigation.


Commission member Justice Prasanna Jayawardena: The commission should not take the responsibility for issuing orders to the IGP or the AG on this matter. He said the commission was aware of the seriousness of what had been committed and there were several officers from the Attorney General's Department and they could inform the AG of it.


Senior Additional Solicitor General: Yes your honour. We accpet your position.


Justice Jayawardena: We will show how the correct steps should be taken. Send a report on the evidence given before the Commission and arguments brought forward by the State Counsel to the AG and the IGP.


At the commencement of sittings, ASG Kodagoda informed the commission that Metropolitan Communications Pvt Ltd had submitted an interim reports in compliance with a commission order and mentioned therein in that the original computer the company had provided to the PTL with the voice logger system was malfunctioning and information could not be retrieved from its hard disc. He sought an order from the commission for the CID to conduct a forensic investigation and find out whether the computer had been deliberately damaged. The commission issued order.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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