The National People’s Power (NPP/JVP) is calling to question the alleged recent appointment of a Senior State Counsel of the Attorney General’s Department as an Acting Additional Secretary to the President’s Office on a part time basis.
The NPP said in a statement issued yesterday, January 6th, that if the report of such an appointment is correct, it is deeply concerned about the Attorney General and the Attorney General’s Department remaining “independent and free of any political influence.” It added that not only should the department be free of any influence, it should also be seen to be so ‘for the people to have faith in the legal process.’
Calling upon the President to ensure that the independence of the AG’s department is safeguarded, the NPP said a connection between the department and the President’s Office should not even be seen. The statement further added that the AG is a ‘creature of Law and he is possessed of and he is only entitled to exercise powers as have been vested in him by express provisions of law.’
Commenting on the recent high profile arrests and detentions, it said that questioning of suspects for many days and long detention will amount to mental torture and violate the fundamental rights enshrined in the country’s constitution. In recent times there had been instances when the complainant was treated like a suspect, and subject to extensive questioning by the police and harassed even before the conclusion of the investigation into the complaint, the NPP said.
The NPP therefore calls upon the government to uphold the independence of the Attorney General’s Department, vital to the judicial process and the principles of fairness and due process in matters relating to law enforcement.