X-Press Pearl skipper’s e-mails to local firm deleted

X-Press Pearl ship is burning

DSG Madawa Tennakoon yesterday informed Colombo Additional Magistrate Shalani Perera that the e-mails sent by the Captain of the fire ravaged cargo ship, X-Press Pearl, when it was about to reach Sri Lanka, to the ship’s local firm, had been allegedly deleted by the latter. He stated that these details had come to light following the probe conducted into the ship’s recent blaze by the CID.

Tennakoon further told Magistrate Perera that this information had been gleaned following statements that had been recorded by the CID from the officers serving on the ship. He added that in the deleted emails it had been mentioned by the Captain of the cargo ship that an oil leakage had begun some 10 days before it caught fire and that information had been relayed to the local firm, which owns the ship, by its Captain.

Meanwhile, Colombo Additional Magistrate Perera yesterday dismissed a request, made by the Attorney General’s Department, to issue notice on the Managing Director of the local firm, which owns the fire-ravaged X-Press Pearl cargo ship, Arjuna Hettiarachchi and six others to appear in Court having named them as suspects.

Furthermore the Magistrate directed the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Nishantha Ulugetenna to provide the necessary security to the cargo ship which has sunk in the shallow seas off Colombo harbour till the conclusion of the inquiries into its recent blaze. She also ordered the MD of the local firm to facilitate the CID to inspect the e-mail database concerning correspondence between the captain of the ship and the local firm at the time of the blaze. The AG’s Department was represented by DSG Madawa Tennakoon.

President’s Counsel Sarath Jayamanna appearing for the captain and two other officers of the ship told Magistrate Perera that her Court does not have the legal power vested in it to preside over the said case. Taking the submissions into consideration Magistrate Perera said she has not been vested with the legal authority to issue notice to the relevant parties to be present in Court having named them as suspects and thus rejected Tennakoon’s request. Accordingly further proceedings of the trial were deferred to 15 June.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Hansi Nanayakkara)