Hizbullah a famed Lawyer was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on the 14th of April 2020. Initially he was arrested on claims that he had phone calls from the suicide bombers.
However, within weeks the claim was diverted by the sleuths.
Thereafter the Criminal Investigations Department took into custody children aged 8 to 13 during the latter stages of April 2020 and coerced them into making statements against Hizbullah.
The children had been taken for 3 days without parental supervision and were questioned by the CID for over 12 hours in detention.
Immediately upon statements being obtained the CID leaked the story to the media. Local newspapers on April 29th 2020 splashed contents of the statements across the newspapers and televisions during the following days.
However, 4 students filed Fundamental Rights applications before the Supreme Court citing torture and coercion. Immediately thereafter the CID took two children before the Fort Magistrate in order to provide a confession.
The contents of the said confessions were also splashed across the media on the very day they were given and the day after.
Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake the the sitting magistrate of Colombo Fort told open Court that officers of the CID had attempted to walk into his chamber and show pictures of Hizbullah whilst he was recording the confession.
On July 1 2020 he said “I had to chase them away” after which he ordered an investigation into how statements made in confidence to him and kept under lock and key were leaked to the media.
“It is an intrusion into Court process,” he said in his order.
During this time, the CID had also visited a building located in a Land belonging to Save the Pearls. Poet Ahnaf Jazeem a Tamil literature teacher had housed himself in the building which was rented to another organisation.
Within the building the CID found a book of Poetry titled Nawarasam- a collection of poetry spanning many themes. The sleuths in their hurry to fabricate evidence against Hizbullah obtained further statements from students of Jazeem in order to implicate him.
Reports filed by the CID seen by the Colombo Telegraph make clear inference regarding Jazeem and Hizbullah and attempt to draw a nexus between the duo and use the book of Poetry as evidence of concerted extremism.
The sleuths thereafter obtained a warped translation of the book and according to sources had taken the poet to his hometown in Mannar.
The poet was promised release by the CID if he handed over copies of all the books currently in circulation and accordingly a message was relayed over the mosque loudspeaker to residents to hand over every copy of the book.
Analysts of the case say that the action of the CID was in order to bury any evidence of the book and to continue the fabrication of evidence against the two.
The Poet Ahnaf Jazeem and Attorney at Law Hejaaz Hizbullah continue to be under custody.
Indictment has been filed against Hizbullah on the strength of a statement of one child who was taken into custody by CID.
The bizarre case of Jazeem was a result of the CID scraping to fabricate evidence against Hizbullah. Sources say that Jazeem was also forced to make a confession and it unclear if he has done so yet.
Sources close to the CID speaking on the condition of strict anonymity said that “we were given no option but to fabricate evidence” against Hizbullah.
“We told them time and time again that innocent people are caught up in the mess,” sources said.