The Fundamental Right Petition filed on behalf of Lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah sets out details of how the Criminal Investigations Department has used threats, coercion and intimidation on children to justify his arrest.
The Petition, sets out in detail Hizbullah’s rise as a stellar student at S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia, and thereafter at Law College. He was then granted a scholarship to study for his PhD at University College of London.
Hizbullah was lead counsel in many landmark cases including the “52 day Coup” case, the Aluthgama Riots case and the Dr. Shafi affair.
The Petition sets out how the Police had initially obtained a Detention Order citing calls to “Mohomed Inshaf” a suicide bomber and son of spice trader Mohomed Ibrahim.
Colombo Telegraph can now reveal that on the date following the arrest, 15th of April, the Police top rung had informed the President of the Bar Association Kalinga Indathissa that Hizbullah was arrested due to “calls he received on the day of the bombs”.
However, the story was a false one planted by the CID to justify the arrest with no evidence of any sort of communication between Hizbullah and Inshaf during the time leading up to the worst terror attack on Sri Lankan soil. The Petition sets out that Hizbullah was in fact out of the country during most of April and was not using his usual phone and that his only communications with Hizbullah was prior to the two cases in which Hizbullah represented his father.
The Petition sets out how Lawyers have been denied access to Hizbullah during his time in Detention in violation of the Law.
His lawyer Hafeel Farisz had been permitted to speak to Hizbullah on two occasions for 15 and 10 minutes with no conversation on the investigation being permitted and in the presence of 3 CID officers.
The Petition states that “Mr. Hizbullah was unable to disclose to his Attorney at law matters which Mr. Hizbullah believed would exonerate him”.
The Petition sets out how Hizbullah had informed Farisz during one of the two meetings, that he has two crucial pieces of evidence which will exonerate him.
“These are crucial, it will prove I knew absolutely nothing and that I am completely innocent,” he had told his Lawyer according to the Petition.
However, the CID officers present had prevented Hizbullah from revealing the information.
Most damningly though the Petition sets out in detail how officers of the Criminal Investigations Department had taken underage children for questioning to undisclosed locations without a parent or guardian. The Children had been forced to sign on sheets of paper which at the end of the questioning, the Petition states. The children are those funded by Save the Pearls a charity of which Hizbullah was a trustee, together with other Muslim Community leaders. Mohomed Ibrahim at the time an award winning trader- was also a trustee.
The sleuths had recently arrested and found “extremist literature from a land,” following “tip offs from the children,” news reports said. It is unclear as to what nature of the literature is. In the immediate aftermath of the Easter Sunday attack any Tamil or Arabic book was portrayed by the media as “extremist Literature,” in order to sensationalize a media frenzied crack down.
Since the initial media frenzy of Hizbullahs arrest surrounding “calls” the sleuths have forecefully tried other avenues to justify the arrest of the young Attorney, who was at the forefront of unpopular causes.
The Petition also says that Hizbullah was the Lawyer for Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and his brother. The relationship between Hizbullah and the Minister had been the focal point of the initial questioning before the continous switch in the attempt to justify his arrest.
The Petition filed by Lawyer Gowri Thavarasha says that the arrest and Detention of Hizbullah is illegal and rife with ulterior and improper motives.
The Petition sets out in detail how Hizbullah had been at the forefront in urging Law enforcement authorities to take action against Galagodaathe Gnanansara.
The monk is said to have played a major role in prompting the arrest of Hizbullah.