The Attorney General will soon file indictments against lawyer Hijaz Hisbullah in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris informed Court today.

When the matter came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage, defence counsel Nalinda Indatissa, PC appearing on behalf of Hizbullah informed Court that without being allowed to know the contents of the summary of evidence and statements made against his client, he is rendered unable to properly discharge his duty towards his client. He therefore submitted that this right of this opportunity for counsel for the suspect should not be denied, as it is an important right. He said that unless this right is granted, he would be denied the ability to properly make submissions on whether any order permitting further remand could be lawfully made.

Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appearing for the CID, submitted that while it was intended to file indictment against Hizbullah, investigations also are ongoing, and that therefore access to the material being filed as a summary of evidence and statements made against Hizbullah should be restricted, to avoid prejudice to investigations.

The Magistrate considered the submissions and ruled that B-reports and statements filed in Court are normally never a matter of a private exchange between the Court and the Police. He noted that counsel watching the interests of suspects need to be aware of the matters on which the suspects are being held, in order to be able to properly assist the Court to ensure their clients’ legal rights, while any investigations are done. Court ordered that considering the claim that some sensitive information may be contained in the statements, a special arrangement should be made for a designated lawyer representing Hizbullah to attend the Magistrate’s Court registry and study all material filed in relation to him in the presence of the Registrar, without copies being issued. Court further directed that an officer of the CID may also be present on that occasion. The CID was directed to indicate clearly to the Magistrate’s Court, the pages of the material filed which are claimed as relevant to allegations against Hizbullah. These steps are to be taken before the next date of the case, which was fixed for 18th March.

The suspect Hijaz Hisbullah was ordered to be further remanded till March 18.

He has been charged under the Section 2 (1) (h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and the Section 3 (1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

The prosecution alleged that Hejaaz Hizbullah, was involved in extremist teachings at the Al Suharia Madrasa Vidyalaya in Karativu, Puttalam.



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