Colombo Telegraph

First Time Ever A Chief Justice Appears Before A Court On Criminal Proceedings

Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice was hauled before Magistrate’s Court this morning to answer charges based on an asset declaration case filed by the Bribery Commission, seen as an ongoing political witch-hunt against the senior judge who was impeached in January this year.

Over 100 lawyers from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka including President Upul Jayasuriya attended the hearing before Colombo Chief Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya today.

Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake

The Chief Magistrate impounded the impeached Chief Justice’s passport and postponed the case for 19 February.

This is the first time a Chief Justice has appeared before court on criminal proceedings.

BASL Chief Jayasuriya said the association had requested legal associations across the world to watch the progress of Bandaranayake‘s trial to observe whether she was being given a fair hearing.

Bandaranayake’s impeachment in January this year was widely condemned as being legally flawed and unconstitutional, after the country’s top courts ruled the process violated provisions of the constitution and declared the proceedings null and void.

Sri Lanka’s parliament, pushed through with her removal inspite of the rulings, and appointed a successor leading to a massive crisis in the island’s judiciary.

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