Sri Lanka arrests Swiss embassy staffer over kidnap claim

COLOMBO (AFP) - A Sri Lankan working at the Swiss embassy in Colombo, who sparked a diplomatic spat after claiming she was kidnapped and forced to divulge sensitive information, was arrested on Monday (Dec 16) for allegedly making a false accusation.

The Swiss embassy said the woman was abducted and sexually assaulted by unidentified attackers on Nov 25, a day after a Sri Lankan police inspector investigating cases involving the family of the president and prime minister sought asylum in Switzerland.

She was arrested after Attorney-General Dappula de Livera advised the police's Criminal Investigations Department to name her as a suspect, his coordinating officer Nishara Jayaratne said.

"The AG advises (the) director (of the) CID to arrest and... produce her in court for exciting disaffection against the government and fabricating false evidence to be used in a judicial proceeding," Mr Jayaratne said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if she had been formally charged.

The woman was questioned over several days by police and subjected to medical tests after first making the kidnap claims.

Bern has stood by her account and asked Colombo for evidence her complaint was a fabrication.

After CID inspector Nishantha Silva fled the island on Nov 24, the government ordered airport immigration to stop any police officer leaving the country without permission.

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