Supreme Court jails Dissanayake for contempt of court

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 07 December 2004, 10:57 GMT]
Sri Lanka's Supreme Court (SC) Tuesday sentenced Mr.S.B.Dissanayake, United National Party (UNP) parliamentarian and a former minister in the governments of People Alliance (PA) and United National Front (UNF) to two years rigorous imprisonment for contempt of court for making a statement defaming the country's superior court, legal sources said.

Five member-bench headed by Chief Justice Mr.Sarath N.Silva (Chairman) and included Justices Shiranee Bandaranaike, T.B.Weerasuriya, Nimal Dissanayake and Raja Fernando, unanimously held that the statement made by Mr.Dissanayake had defamed the superior court and he was found guilty for contempt of court.

The Chief Justice delivered the order with the consent of other four judges, legal sources said.

Mr.Dissanayake was indicted for contempt of court by making a statement defaming the Supreme Court when addressing a meeting at Habaraduwa in the south on 3rd November 2003, legal sources said.

A group of lawyers led by President Counsel Mr.Romesh de Silva appeared for Mr.Dissanayake. Mr.Chitraranjan de Silva, Solicitor General appeared for the Attorney General, legal sources said.

The Chief Justice, before imposing jail sentence said Mr.Dissanayake statement at the public meeting had caused serious insult to the superior court, legal sources said.

Mr.Dissanayake was taken to prison around 11.30 a.m Tuesday soon after the verdict was delivered, legal sources said.

Mr.Dissanayake is currently the National Organizer of the main opposition United National Party. He was earlier a close confidante of Sri Lanka's President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge during the People Alliance regime and held ministerial portfolio under her. Later due to differences of opinion he left the PA and joined the UNP and became a minister in the United National Front (UNF) government when it was voted to power in the general election held in December 2001.

 

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