The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday informed the Fort Magistrate Court that Save the Pearls organisation had received funding from the “Qatar Charity” amounting to 13 million rupees.
Save the Pearls is an organisation in which Hizbullah functioned as President.
Deepani Menike, appearing on behalf of the CID, informed the Fort Magistrate that “Qatar Charity” is a terrorist funding entity and had been listed as a terror network. Accordingly she said that offences related to receiving funding from terror organisations and the Money Laundering Act are being investigated.
She also said that investigations by the CID had concluded and the Terrorist Investigations Department (TID) are in the process of investigating the matter. She said the file regarding the investigation into Hizbullah was sent to the Attorney General for advice.
Lawyers appearing for Hizbullah informed the Court that the “Qatar Charity” was in fact the main humanitarian charity of the Emir of Qatar and works closely with the Sri Lankan Government. They pointed out that a simple Google search would show that Qatar Charity is a world-renowned charitable organisation which has an office in Sri Lanka.
Counsel said that the charity had worked with the Sri Lankan embassy in Qatar during the Covid-19 Pandemic in ensuring food would be provided to Lankan migrant workers. They said that this was further evidence that the entire case against Hizbullah was a fabrication.
Qatar Charity works closely with the United Nations and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) among other international entities and is headed by the Qatari Royal Family.
The Criminal Investigations Department said that they had obtained a freezing order of the account belonging to the charity.
Farman Cassim PC with Hafeel Farisz and Dhanushan Kaneshayogan appeared for Hizbullah.
The Fundamental Rights application filed on behalf of Hizbullah was also taken up today, and was fixed to resume on 23 November.
The matter is to be called on 7 October.