Former President deviated from procedure in pardoning Jayamaha - AG | Daily News

Former President deviated from procedure in pardoning Jayamaha - AG

It has been revealed at the Supreme Court yesterday (9) that former President Maithripala Sirisena had granted a pardon to Jude Shamantha Jayamaha who had been sentenced to death subsequent to having been found guilty of the murder of Yvonne Johnson at Royal Park, when the then President’s

Legal Secretary had already informed him that he could not grant a special Presidential amnesty.

It was also revealed that the former President had not obtained advice from the Attorney General or recommendations from the Justice Minister for granting this pardon.

These facts came to light when a file submitted by the President’s Office regarding granting Presidential amnesty to Jude Shamantha Jayamaha who was found guilty in the Royal Park murder case, was presented to court on behalf of the Attorney General.

These facts were revealed when a Fundamental Rights petition filed against granting a Presidential pardon, was taken up for hearing. The petition was taken up for hearing in the presence of a panel of Supreme Court judges comprising of Justices S.Thurairaja, Yasantha Kodagoda and Janak De Silva.

The file in relation to granting a pardon to Jude Shamantha Jayamaha was submitted to court by Additional Solicitor General Nerin Pulle on behalf of the Attorney General.

Special attention of the court was focused on certain documents contained in the file.

President’s Counsel Sanjeewa Jayawardena representing the petitioner’s faction pointed out that no advice had been obtained from the Attorney General when granting the relevant amnesty and suitable legal procedures had not been followed.

He mentioned that the pardon has been given without following the procedure prescribed by law to grant a Presidential Pardon to a convict.

He said that in granting a Presidential Pardon, a report should be obtained from the Bench or Judge who heard the original case, and reports should also be obtained from Courts that heard the appeals, and then the reports should be forwarded to the Attorney General for advice.

Subsequently, after referring both reports to the Justice Minister only that it can be considered whether the defendant can be granted a pardon or not which is the usual procedure he said. The President’s Counsel said that however, this pardon had been granted without following any of those procedures. He said that neither the Minister’s recommendation nor advice from the Attorney General or reports from judges had been obtained.

Court paid special attention to the granting of amnesty to the accused and the dates and documents related to that procedure.


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