COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake walked out of her impeachment hearing before lawmakers yesterday after complaining she was not being given a fair trial, legal and parliamentary sources said.
The impeachment of Bandaranayake, the country’s first female chief justice, came after she scuppered a bill that would have given more powers to President Mahinda Rajapakse’s younger brother Basil, who is economic development minister.
“The chief justice and her team of lawyers walked out of the parliamentary select committee after making a statement that she is not being given a fair hearing,” a lawyer close to the process told a reporter.
“She will not attend future hearings.”
A parliamentary official said yesterday’s hearing, the third since it began on November 23, ended abruptly as Bandaranayake staged her dramatic walkout and vowed not to attend any more hearings of a panel dominate by ruling party MPs.
“She was denied details of the allegations and the right to cross-examine potential witnesses,” the lawyer said. “The government also tried to introduce new allegations and that was the last straw.”