Former ITN News Head Sudharman Radaliyagoda remanded till February 24 after surrendering to the Court on charges of forcibly using a child and producing a false video clip during the presidential election aiming to vilify President Maithripala Sirisena who was then the Common Candidate of the opposition.
The case was based on a video clip of a child claiming his mother had been detained by President Maithripala Sirisena. The clip was aired by state run ITN under Radaliyagoda’s watch.
The video clip in question was simultaneously telecasted through state media prior to the Presidential Election. On the video the child says that his mother is being held captive by the Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena and the child pleads for her safe return.
It is reported that Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Chamila Kumari Dissanayake, the mother, lodged a complaint with the police claiming that her child was forcibly used for an election ad supporting President Mahinda Rajapaksa. She added that her husband took away the child on December 26. She said she only saw the child thereafter when he appeared on TV, on December 30.
Sudharman Radaliyagoda already has two arrest warrants issued against him.
Radaliyagoda has been charged of committing a fraud of forging documents and collecting Rs. 1.5 million from two businessmen promising to get them scrap iron.
He was issued the first warrant on June 19, 2011. When the police failed to arrest him after six months, Kaduwela magistrate Lanka Jayaratne had issued another warrant on February 9, 2012 for his arrest.
Over the past three years, the former Deputy General Manager of ITN appeared in public freely, despite the arrest warrant issued against him