AG directs IGP to produce facts on Hejaaz Hizbullah’s case

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera today (17) directed Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D. Wickremeratne to report facts on the case linked to detained human rights activist and Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.

The AG’s Coordinating Officer, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told Colombo Gazette that IGP Wickremeratne was further directed to produce Hizbullah before the relevant Magistrate’s Court.

Hizbullah will be presented in court on charges filed under Section 2(1) (h) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and Section 3(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act.

The human rights lawyer has been held at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in Colombo since his arrest on 14 April 2020, with restricted access to his lawyers, family, and wife.

Hizbullah was arrested on charges of allegedly “aiding and abetting” one of the bombers involved in the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks.

Many, including the European UnionAmnesty International, and nearly 150 lawyers in Sri Lanka raised concerns over Hizbullah’s detention under the PTA without sufficient evidence.

Last month, AG de Livera had agreed to grant detained human rights activist Hizbullah access to his lawyers.

In October, the case filed against Hizbullah at the Fort Magistrate’s Court was rescheduled to 24 February 2021 due to the prevalent coronavirus situation in the country.

In January 2021, the CID informed the Fort Magistrate’s Court that Attorney-at-Law Hizbullah is to be detained for another 90 days.

The CID informed the Court that it has obtained Defence Ministry approval for the detention of Hizbullah. (Colombo Gazette)