Garnia Bannister Francis, the local employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo who was allegedly involved in an abduction case, has been granted bail by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court.
Francis was produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne by prison offers this morning (30).
The embassy staffer was granted bail on two personal bail bonds of Rs 500,000 each.
The magistrate also ordered for Grama Niladhari certified addresses of the two co-signers of bail and the permanent address of the defendant.
The Court temporarily banned foreign travel of the defendant and asked her passport to be surrendered to the court. In case, the defendant obtains a passport under any other law, the court should be informed of it.
The court also directed a private phone company to submit phone records of the defendant, her husband and the teacher of her daughter.
The Defense Council promised to hand over a mobile phone belonging to the husband of the defendant to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara pointed out that there is a possibility that the defendant might receive political immunity through the Embassy and abscond the court, seeing as the mother of the defendant and the 3 children have already left to Switzerland.
However, the Defense Attorney Upul Kumarapperuma stated that the mother of the defendant and the 3 children are currently in Singapore for a vacation and will be back before the next school term commences.
The CID told that they obtained the information through the CID branch at the airport when the Magistrate inquired the CID how they figured out the relevant persons were in Switzerland.
Recording the statement of the Defense Counsel that the relevant persons are on vacation in Singapore, the Magistrate stated that the defendant’s bail application cannot be rejected solely based on that point.
Accordingly, the Magistrate granted bail for the defendant and set the next date of hearing as January 09, 2020.
The embassy staffer was arrested on December 16 by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and produced before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on the directions of the Attorney General.
The Attorney General had advised the Director of the CID to arrest and produce the relevant staffer at the courts over two charges.
The Swiss Embassy employee has been named a suspect for a case of exciting disaffection against the Government and fabricating false evidence to be used in a future judicial proceeding.
She had been remanded until today (Dec. 30) by the court.