Zahrah Imtiaz and Kamal Jayamanne
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, jubilant after MP Johnston Fernando’s acquittal, said he never doubted the independence of the Judiciary in the country.
He was speaking at a media briefing held at his home in Wijerama Mawatha, joined by JO MPs, Johnston Fernando, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Wimal Weerawansa, Prof G.L. Peiris and Namal Rajapaksa.
The former President insisted that they had always maintained that the Judiciary was independent and it was only certain institutions which were launching a witch-hunt against political opponents of the government.
Fernando following his statement piled on allegations against the FCID, Attorney General’s Department and the Prisons Department for entrapping him under ‘false charges’. He added that even though the Speaker had promised to ask the AG to not oppose bail as he was an MP, the AG’s Department had refused to comply, “The whole department has been politicised,”Fernando said.
The Kurunegala High Court on Wednesday acquitted Fernando of all charges in the case of misappropriating Sathosa funds worth Rs 5.2 million.
Prof. Peiris said the High Court had not even entertained evidence from the Defence as there was no substantial evidence to file a case.