President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s counter offensive against calls from lawyers for the BASL to intervene in the illegal arrest and detention of attorney at law Hejaaz Hizbullah has resulted in a 14 page letter signed by 216 lawyers loyal to the Government.
All of the signatories are Sinhalese lawyers led by President’s Counsel Manohara Silva, whose recent interventions in court on all matters relating to the constitution and fundamental rights have been rejected outright by the country’s highest courts.
The letter from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s lawyers urge the BASL not to intervene in Hizbullah’s arrest saying that the arrest was a result of matters completely outside his scope of work as an attorney. The letter also alleges that Hizbullah was connected to the 21 April 2019 Easter Sunday bombings even though not a shred of evidence in this regard has been put forward by police to any court.
Furthermore, in violation of all due process, the arrested attorney is yet to be produced before a magistrate and there is no judicial oversight of his ongoing detention at the CID. His access to legal counsel has also been restricted with CID officers insisting that they be present during the consultations with his counsel and also insisting that the lawyers speak with HIzbullah only in Sinhalese.
Hizbullah’s father has filed a Habeas Corpus in the Court of Appeal urging the court to intervene as to the reasons for his son’s arrest and demand the CID to produce him before a judge.
To read letter click here