Wijeyadasa confident of Presidential pardon for Ramanayake

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Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Affairs Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe says that he is confident convicted former SJB MP Ranjan Ramanayake would be granted a Presidential pardon, but he could not be drawn on a definite time frame.

He stated as the subject Minister, he had received case abstracts from Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam and upon perusal he had submitted his recommendations to President Ranil Wickremasinghe, as per protocol.

However, the Minister observed that he cannot predict as to when the former MP could be granted the Presidential pardon, as it was the sole prerogative of the Executive President. 

Rajapakshe noted it was imperative, the actor turned politician, who has been convicted by Supreme Court on a Contempt of Court charge is reprieved, considering his exemplary conduct during his incarceration, as well as the service he could render to society as a much-sought-after artiste.

The Apex Court, in a unanimous decision, sentenced former lawmaker Ramanayake to four years of rigorous imprisonment, over a case of Contempt of Court, in January last year.

The case was filed against the former State Minister over Contempt of Court charges for making defamatory remarks against the Judiciary on 21 August five years ago.

Speaking to the media, following a meeting with then PM Wickremesinghe at Temple Trees, Ramanayake, had claimed that the majority of Judges in the country issue biased rulings and that they are corrupt.

Retired Air Force Officer Sunil Perera and Ven. Magalkande Sudatta Thera later filed two petitions with the Supreme Court, alleging that such defamatory comments can shatter public confidence and provide a twisted image of the Judiciary, to the people of Sri Lanka.

Based on these complaints, the Attorney General had later filed the charges against Ramanayake before the SC.

(JK)