Identification parade for Hejaaz case withdrawn; case to be taken up 1 July

Colombo Fort Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka yesterday (24), decided to dismiss the order, he had earlier issued to produce suspect Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah before an identification parade.

Further, the Fort Magistrate will decide on 1st of July whether Hizbullah should be produced before Court.

The Police on the 18th of June filed a motion before Fort Magistrate to present detained attorney Hejaaz Hizbullah for an identification parade.The Magistrate then allowed the motion and fixed 24 June for the ID parade.

The CID officers informed the Court that Hizbullah was being held in detention for indoctrinating children with extremist views through classes he was conducting,

However, when the case was taken up yesterday (24), the Fort Chief Magistrate withdrew his order noting that the CID in their own admission had already shown photographs of Hejaaz to the children.

The Magistrate further noted that the two children in their statement had said the CID attempted to show photographs to them.

The Magistrate said there was no need for an identification parade as the children had already identified Hejaaz with a photograph and that it would be prejudice to Hejaaz more than it will cause prejudice to the prosecution.

Further, the Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, appearing to protect the interests of the children who had filed fundamental rights applications complaining of CID harassment and threats,  submitted that the CID’s attempt to hold the parade in this manner, with a view to try and regularise a wholly illegal process and to hamper/prejudice the pending Supreme Court applications.

President’s Counsel Wasantha Navarathna Bandara representing Hizbullah brought to the attention of the Magistrate that the parade is being held too late and after securing malicious and unethical media coverage.

In this regard, it was emphasized to the Magistrate, that in fact, Hejaaz’s picture has been published all over the news etc. with a narrative leaked by the CID and no sanctity could be attached to such a parade.