Colombo Cheif Magistrate today ordered for the Government Analysts Department to examine a laptop belonging to journalist Dharisha Bastians which had been seized by the CID this month. The order was issued after Bastian’s lawyers made an application to the court asking it to ensure the integrity of the laptop is not tampered with.
Accordingly Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne asked the Government Analyst to check any possible alterations on the laptop between June 4 – 16 when it was in the possession of the CID. In a statement recently Bastian’s said while she was willing to cooperate with any investigation by appropriate law enforcement agencies under the prevailing circumstances she was gravely concerned about potential efforts by interested parties to compromise the integrity of the hardware, software, data and documents of the laptop and any other electronic material/devices belonging to her obtained by law enforcement.
Bastians in her statement said that on May 29 and June 4, the CID had visited her home and attempted to seize her laptop without a valid warrant. Her family on legal advice had informed the CID that it could not be handed over without a court order.
On June 9 the CID had once again arrived at her residence with a warrant to search the house and had seized her laptop.
Bastians also noted that a previous occasion the CID had obtained her Call Data Records without a court order, scrutinized them and subsequently exposed the information. Bastian’s has been named as one interested party in connection to the alleged abduction of the Swiss Embassy employee Garnia Bannister.