Magistrate orders police probe into how in-camera evidence by children was reported by media
ECONOMYNEXT – The Fort Magistrate has ordered an investigation as to how evidence given to him in-camera by two children last week made its way into the following morning’s newspaper.
Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake this morning July 1 ordered the Deputy Inspector General of the Western Province to investigate the incident and report to him.
Dissanayake told the court that only he and the Court Mudliyar were present in his chambers when the children gave evidence.
The Magistrate said that he had locked up the evidence given by the children in the court locker after recording it.
The case being heard is into the bombing of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo on last Easter Sunday and the children’s testimony pertains to the arrest of leading lawyer Hejaaz Hisbullah.
Police allege that Hejaaz aided and abetted the suicide bombers.
The children in question are witnesses brought forth by the Criminal Investigation Department and reportedly gave evidence to support the CID case that Hejaaz was a leading member of an Islamic school where young boys were radicalized.
Hejaaz is being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and is yet to be produced before a Magistrate.
Because he is being held under the draconian PTA, the Magistrate has no power to order him produced before him.
Nawarathna Bandara PC, appearing with Harshana Nanayakkara and Hafeel Farisz appeared for Hejaaz while IP Ranil Wimalasiri appeared for the CID.
Hejaaz has challenged his detention in a Fundamental Rights petition before the Supreme Court which is coming up for hearing next week. (Colombo, July 1, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana