The unofficial bar whilst criticizing politicians and others for recent criticisms of the Attorney General’s Department, noted that with regard to concerns raised regarding the 80 odd files concerning which the investigations had been allegedly concluded by the Police, the Police officers had in fact not covered certain areas pertaining to the said investigations.
The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) pointed out that therefore the Attorney General’s Department could not immediately file charge sheets and submit indictments, and in turn had to send the files back to the relevant investigating law enforcement agency, the Police, for further investigations.
Some files have no proper prima facie evidence, in the absence of which the Attorney General’s Department cannot submit, President of the BASL, Udaya Rohan De Silva explained, adding that in some cases, the files were heavy ones with a lot of documentary evidence.
According to De Silva, special Courts which had previously been established in relation to handling cases pertaining to narcotics, bribery and terrorism had failed.
He emphasized that as per the Constitution, the accused party must be given all the opportunities afforded to her/him by law to defend herself/himself, adding that there were procedures to be followed especially with regard to evidence.
“We cannot expect the Attorney General’s Department to handle the cases the way the politicians (especially them) want to. The Attorney General’s Department cannot file for the sake of filing because if they fail thereafter another problem will arise,” he said.
He further added the Ministry of Justice only handled the administration and cannot intervene or interfere with the Attorney General’s Department otherwise.
“We are not satisfied and are concerned about the way politicians and other interested parties are making allegations and comments about the Attorney General’s Department. This is a matter for the judiciary or the relevant investigating authority, in this case the Presidential Commission to provide solutions for”, he added.
“These allegations by politicians and interested parties are unnecessary and constitute interferences which could jeopardize law and order. The Attorney General’s Department handles all the cases the way they do and they should be allowed to do so without interference,” De Silva observed.