Bar Association Raises Six Pertinent Questions Over Duminda Silva's Release Under Special Presidential Pardon

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) raised six questions with regard to the release of former Parliamentarian Duminda Silva on a special presidential pardon.

"The attention of the BASL has been drawn to a pardon given by His Excellency to Duminda Silva, a prisoner who was convicted for unlawful assembly and murder by a High Court at Bar, which was unanimously affirmed by a divisional bench of the Supreme Court headed by the then Chief Justice Hon. Priyasath Dep." Te BASL President Saliya Peiris said.

"The BASL has asked His Excellency the President to convey to the BASL and to the general public:

(a) The basis on which Duminda Silva was selected for the purpose of granting a pardon under Article 34 (1) of the Constitution;

(b) The circumstances which were taken into consideration in the granting of such pardon;

(c) The reasons as to why the case of Duminda Silva stands out from others who are currently sentenced;

(d) Whether a report was called for by Your Excellency from the Trial Judges as required by the Provisio to Article 34 (1) prior to granting of the pardon to Duminda Silva and if so the contents of the report.

(e) Whether the advice of the Attorney General was called for prior to granting of the pardon to Duminda Silva and if so the contents of such advice

(f) Whether the recommendation of the Minister of Justice was obtained prior to granting of the pardon to Duminda Silva and if so whether the Minister of Justice made such a recommendation

"The Bar Association of Sri Lanka maintains that if any one or more considerations stated above, were not satisfied in the current case, the pardon granted would be unreasonable and arbitrary," Peiris stated.

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