Duminda Silva asked for my daughter: Witness
Testifying in an abduction case against Western Provincial Councilor Duminda Silva, the father of a young woman told the Colombo High Court that he was abducted by the accused, Silva, and his armed gang, demanding that his daughter be sent to him.
The main witness in this case, Roger Allan Francis, gave evidence before High Court Judge Thilak Thabrew in a case in which Duminda Silva stands indicted on five counts, including abducting two persons from Bambalapitya on August 6, 2004. He is charged with abducting Roger Allan Francis and Chaminda Sumith Kumara Dunusinghe and being a member of an unlawful assembly to commit the said offence.
Giving evidence led by state counsel, Janaka Bandara, the 54-year-old witness said the accused, Duminda Silva, along with a gang, came to his office in Bambalapitya and took him and his aide by force, demanding that he take them to the place where his younger daughter was staying.
Giving evidence Allan Francis of Sudarshana Mawatha, Malabe said he is the father of three children, two daughters and one son and was carrying on a business of importing garments and selling. He said his family first came to know the accused Silva when they went to buy items at a fast food restaurant in Malabe run by him. “We go to buy food like hoppers and string hoppers when we don’t cook at home, and he (Duminda Silva) gave us good service at first,” he testified.
Little by little he started to come to our home with food and I realized that something was up. When we stopped buying food he used to bring food items home. The witness said he was unaware of the affair the accused had with his elder daughter at the beginning but when he came to know about it he had objected as there was a ten year age gap between the two. My daughter was 20-years while Duminda Silva was 30.
However on December 2003 or 2004 his daughter left home and refused to come back. Nearly two months after this incident Duminda Silva had come to his house and apologized. The witness said his daughter lived with the accused then. Later on, one night, Duminda Silva broke into his house jumping over the fence and demanded that he wanted to talk to his daughter. At that time, he was with some thugs and later left the place when the Athurugiriya police was summoned.
Following this incident Allan Francis along with his family had changed houses and lived in several different places as a precaution.
On August 6, 2004, Duminda Silva had come to his office in Bambalapitiya and demanded that his second daughter be given to him. There was a gang with him and one man was carrying a pistol on him. The witness and his office aide Vijay were threatened to reveal the where abouts of his daughter and were taken in a jeep to Malabe. When he refused to reveal where his daughter was he was brought back to his office premises from where he had escaped.
The witness said Duminda Silva had threatened him saying he would take his second daughter and hold her hostage.
The witness Allan Francis was cross examined by Defence Counsel, Anil Silva.
Question: You have made these false allegations against the accused because he did not give you money.
Answer: No. I deny that suggestion. I objected to the affair because of the age gap but I could not stop him coming to my home, the witness said.
The witness said that he was not aware that his wife had asked for money from Duminda Silva for a dancing programme conducted by the Old Girls Soceity of Good Shepherd’s Convent, Kandy.
The defence counsel suggested that the witness had assaulted and kept his daughter under house arrest demanding that she stop the affair with Duminda Silva. Again he denied the suggestion.
He also denied that he had made a false allegation with regards to the abduction of his daughter.
Defence counsel alleged that when his client was appointed a provincial councilor the witness demanded some money from him and when he was refused these false allegations were brought against Mr. Silva. He further alleged that following this the witness had falsely implicated his client in this case with the intention of tarnishing his political image, but this was denied by the witness. Further trial was put off for September 11.
|This article has been read 1913 times|