The Attorney General’s Department has found sufficient evidence in the police report to file charges against Minister Rishard Bathiudeen over allegations that he had threatened the Mannar Magistrate on July 18, the Daily Mirror learns.
An AG’s Department source said yesterday a preliminary study of the the CID report had indicated there was a prima-facie case against Minister Bathiudeen over his alleged involvement in organising the Mannar protests and threatening Mannar Magistrate and District Judge Anthonypillai Judeson.
The police report is being studied by senior state counsel and a final decision is expected in the next few days.
The source said the AG department is expected to instruct the Police to file charges against the Minister and several others after the CID report was studied in full.
Minister Bathiudeen is alleged to have instigated a group of Muslim fishermen in Mannar to protest the order given by Magistrate Judeson on the removal of a group of Tamil IDPs from Veduithalithivu.
They had then damaged the Mannar Magistrate’s court building by stoning it. Minister Bathiudeen is also alleged to have threatened the Magistrate asking him to change his ruling or face the consequences.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa angered by the negative developments had instructed the Police Chief to conduct a thorough investigation into the incidents and file charges against anyone involved in the incident.
The incident had a snow-balling effect with all Bar Associations passing resolutions condemning the protests and alleged threats on the Magistrate. The refusal by lawyers to attend court proceedings crippled the Judiciary for a couple of days.
In the North, all Magistrate Courts were dysfunctional as lawyers refused to attend court proceedings till last week. The Mannar Magistrate’s Court is still not back to normal.
Meanwhile a group of lawyers filed a case against Minister Bathiudeen for Contempt of Court and Minister has been ordered to appear in the Court of Appeal on September 5th. (SAJ)