Maithri in trouble over media statement : PCoI decision today

Former President Maithripala Sirisena has been accused of disrespecting the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

A representative of the Attorney General (AG) told the PCoI yesterday that Sirisena’s recent statement to media denying the statement issued by former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando was disrespectful to the PCoI.

The former President, despite being summoned to testify before the Commission on 05th October, was present for yesterday’s proceedings.

The AG’s representative said according to the Commission’s mandate, its sittings are deemed to be judiciary proceedings and under Article 105 (3) of the Constitution the power of the Court of Appeal shall include the power to punish for contempt of any other court, tribunal or institution referred to in paragraph (1) (c) of this Article.

The representative also called on the Commission to summon former President Maithripala Sirisena’s Personal Secretary Sameera de Silva over the statement issued on Media.

Meanwhile, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s lawyer called on the commission to institute legal action against the former President for undermining its mandate.

Responding to this, former President Sirisena’s representative President’s Counsel Maithri Gunaratne said his client had issued the statement for the benefit of his supporters and to protect his political image, and not to undermine the PCoI in any manner.

He further said the Catholic church had also issued a similar statement over the recent statement made by MP Harin Fernando to the PCoI last week.

The Secretary to former President Maithripala Sirisena has been summoned to the PCoI this afternoon. The PCoI is expected to draw a decision over the matter today. (NewsWire)

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