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Sri Lankan court summons minister over threatening a magistrate

The Magistrate Court of Mannar today issued notice to Minister of Industries & Commerce Rishad Bathiyutheen to appear before the court on August 27th.Panadura Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake presiding at the Mannar Magistrate Court issued the order when a case filed against Minister Bathiyutheen over threatening Mannar Magistrate A. Judeson was taken up for hearing today.Minister Bathiyutheen is accused of intimidating a judge last month over a court ruling against a group of recently resettled fishermen in the Mannar district of the northwestern region.The Minister has allegedly threatened the magistrate over the phone to instigate violence against the courts if the order is not revoked.Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitting a report to the court said it investigated the suspicious calls received by the Mannar Magistrate following a judgment delivered by him based on a complaint lodged by the magistrate.The CID has recorded statements of the magistrate and several lawyers of the Mannar court.On 18 July, angry mobs protesting the magistrate attacked and damaged the Mannar court complex.Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen is accused of making two calls to the judge, according to the complaint made by the judge.The Minister in his first call on 17 July, the day before the attack took place, had threatened the judge to issue a favorable judgment, according to the complaint. He is also accused of making another call on 18 July, after the attack on the Courthouse, in which he is alleged to have challenged the judge’s order on fishing location claims.The Minister has denied all the allegations made against him.The CID informed the court that since the Minister had declined the charges during interrogation no arrests were made.Mannar Magistrate A. Judeson had recused himself from hearing the case and accordingly Panadura Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake has presided over the case against the Minister.

Author: TELO Admin