Rathana Thera files complaint, denies allegations

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Parliamentarian Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera filed a complaint yesterday (23) with the CID regarding a statement made by former President Maithripla Sirisena about the Presidential Pardon granted to the Royal Park murder convict, Jude Shramantha Anthony Jayamaha, during a recent television interview.

Sirisena in an interview, on a private channel, stated that Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera urged him to grant a Presidential Pardon to the convict, meeting him several times with Jayamaha’s family.

He also said he understood that money had exchanged hands in persuading him to grant the presidential pardon. The former President denied allegations that he had taken money from Jayamaha’s family.

Speaking to the media, after filing the complaint, Rathana Thera said the Presidential Pardon was recommended by a special committee comprising former justices, lawyers and psychologists and he was not involved. He met President Sirisena as the latter’s signature was needed to grant the pardon, he added.

Jayamaha was convicted of the murder of a 19-year-old teenager Yvonne Jonsson at the Royal Park Condominium in Rajagiriya in July 2015. He was sentenced to a 12-year prison term by the Colombo High Court. However, in 2012 the Court of Appeal overturned the prison term and sentenced Jayamaha to death.

Jayamaha was granted a presidential pardon by Maithripala Sirisena on 9 November 2019, during his last week in office.

BY Sahan Tennekoon