Former MP and State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake walks out a free man after being released from a 4 year rigorous imprisonment sentence; President Wickremesinghe grants conditional pardon stipulating that Ramanayake should not make any statement critical or derogatory of the entire judiciary in future.

Former MP and State Minister Ranjan Ramanayake was freed yesterday from prison after a conditional pardon by President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara, MPs Nalin Bandara and Harshana Rajakaruna were present outside the Welikada prison along with supporters to welcome him.

Ramanayake who was serving a four-year rigorous imprisonment since January 2021 for contempt of court.

The release follows President Wickremesinghe yesterday signing the document granting pardon on the condition that Ramanayake should not make any statement critical or derogatory of the entire judiciary in future.

The conditional pardon however saw Premadasa expressing regret. Taking to Twitter, he expressed his disappointment that Ramanayake was released under 34 (1) (d) of the Constitution and not under 34 (2).

“Disappointed to learn that he was released under 34 (1) (d) of the constitution which is merely a remission of his sentence rather than a full pardon with his civic and political rights intact under 34 (2),” Premadasa tweeted. “This means he is disqualified from holding political office. Utterly disappointed!” he said.

Ramanayake had made statements insulting the Judiciary primarily outside Temple Trees on 21 August 2017. He alleged that the majority of judges and lawyers in the country were corrupt.

The Supreme Court delivered its judgement on 12 January 2021, convicting him for the offence of contempt of court and sentenced him to four years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Submitting an affidavit to court on Thursday, Ranjan Ramanayake had stated that having reflected deeply on the statement made by him outside Temple Trees on 21 August 2017, he admits that the statement he made is completely and utterly false and derogatory and contemptuous of the entire Judiciary and humbly and profoundly apologised and sought the forgiveness of the entire Judiciary.

Further, Ramanayake also sought forgiveness for the derogatory statement he made outside the Supreme Court premises claiming that he would not withdraw the statement he made on 21 August 2017.

He also gave an assurance that he would never again, in his entire lifetime, make any statement critical or derogatory of the entire Judiciary.

Courtesy:Daily FT