July 12, Colombo: Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen, the doctor attached to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital, who was detained under the Prevention of Terrorism laws by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), was ordered to be released from CID detention and remanded until the 25th July.
The order was issued by Kurunegala Chief Magistrate Sampath Hewawasam when Dr. Shafi's case was taken up for the second day yesterday (11).
Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appearing on behalf of the Attorney General told the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court that the three-month detention order against Dr. Shafi has been withdrawn after the Defense Ministry had informed that the evidence against Dr. Shafi was inadequate to prove that he had received funds from a terrorist organization to promote their activities.
However, the Magistrate refused a request made by his lawyer to grant bail to his client saying that bail cannot be granted as the witnesses of the prosecution may be affected.
The Muslim doctor is accused of surgically sterilizing thousands of Sinhala Buddhist mothers during their caesarian deliveries. Dr. Shafi was arrested in May and detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act alleging that he had links with the terrorist groups and amassed an unexplainable wealth by money laundering.
However, The CID informed the Kurunegala Magistrate's Court last month that the investigations conducted so far did not reveal that Dr. Shafi had been involved in a terrorist organization, had misappropriated assets or squeezed the fallopian tubes of women who underwent caesarean surgeries.
At yesterday's hearing the Magistrate also abolished the three-member medical team that was appointed to investigate the mothers involved in the sterilization charges. Instead, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Colombo was ordered to appoint a five-member inquiry panel consisting of doctors.
The Magistrate also ordered the Valuation Department to submit a valuation report on Dr. Shafi's assets at the next hearing on 25th July.