Hizbullah case hearing fixed for 18 March

Thursday, 4 March 2021 02:29 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage fixed 18 March for the hearing on the continuing detention of prominent lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah, when the case was taken up yesterday.

Appearing for the Attorney Generals Department Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris informed Court that the Criminal Investigations Department was submitting reports containing a summary of evidence of every witness investigated in the case.

This was after the Magistrate in a historic order held that the Criminal Procedure Court must be complied with in cases of detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. 

He also gave copies of ‘confidential statements’ and said it was for the perusal of the Court.

However, Counsel appearing on behalf of Principal of the Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel and Hizbullah objected to such confidential statements and said there was no provision in Law for such confidential statements. They also requested the Court to grant the two Counsel access to the material.

Thereafter, the Magistrate ordered the two Senior Counsel to peruse the statements before the Registrar and held that reports filed in Court by the Criminal Investigations Department were not “personal communications”.

Hizbullah has been held in custody on charges of hate speech under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, based on statements made by children. The children were provided scholarships by a trust headed by Hizbullah. Four children filed Fundamental Rights petitions through Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, alleging that they were coerced by the Police to make confessions. 

The children and the parents alleged that they were taken in for three days and asked to sign documents by the sleuths.

Presidents Counsel Nalinda Indathissa, Chaminda Athukorale, Niran Anketell, Dhanushak Kaneshayogan, Hafeel Farisz, Kavindu Indathissa, Charith Thuduwage and a host of other lawyers appeared for the two suspects.