BASL condemns Swiss Embassy statement | Daily News


 

BASL condemns Swiss Embassy statement

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) commenting on a statement issued by the government of Switzerland regarding proceedings of the case involving a local staffer said the statement conveys ‘wrong and misconceived impressions about the role of the judiciary and the concept of ‘due process’.

In a strongly worded lengthy statement, the Bar Association condemned the remarks made by the Swiss Embassy and said their statement amounts to a serious undermining of the judiciary and other law enforcement agencies. “We request the embassy to refrain from making such baseless statements and if there is any concern to bring it before the relevant forum without making ad-hoc and inconsistent statements which undermines the legal system and the judiciary.”

The Bar Association in its lengthy statement cited that several erroneous facts had been stated in the release issued by the Switzerland government. “The alleged incident is claimed to have taken place on November 25, 2019, when according to reports filed in courts no complaint was made until November 27,” they said.

They also referred to the term ‘testimony’ which the Bar Association said was wrongly used in the document. “The word testimony is generally referred to as evidence, but for several days the Swiss Embassy took up the position that the employee concerned was unwell and could not make a testimony.”

Furthermore, the Association decried that ad-hoc arrests was made stating that the sequence of events reflect that investigations had taken its normal pace. “The employee concerned was permitted to be free without being called upon to make statement for the purpose of judicial proceedings for a considerable period of time.” The Association remarked that in this case, the investigation had proceeded as expected by law and on the basis of the normal legal norms accepted domestically and internationally.

The Bar Association said that although the Swiss government had stated that the due process was not followed, they had failed to provide at least one example of such instance where the process was not followed.

“The matter is before courts and whenever a matter is sub judice it is wrong and incorrect for statements to be made in respect of matters before court. The statement by the Swiss government violates a basic rule,” the Bar Association said in a statement.


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