Hejaaz Hizbullah trial: Main witness stumbles

  • Request to amend indictment denied

The Puttalam High Court last week denied a request by the prosecution to amend the indictment, following the main witness failing to provide evidence related to the key charges levelled against detained Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah.

It is reported that the main witness had failed to provide evidence to support the allegations levelled against the suspect, which were based on his previous statements.

The prosecution had reportedly requested to amend the indictments following the witness stumbling on the stand, to which the defence had objected, it is learnt.

Responding to the request, the presiding High Court Judge had stated that the indictment could not be amended as the prosecution had all the material available to them including the statements of the witness upon which the indictment was based, legal sources informed The Sunday Morning.

According to legal sources, the Judge had also warned the prosecution twice for prompting the witness with leading questions.

A subsequent request by the defence to seek bail for Hizbullah, who has been in custody since April 2020, was also denied by the High Court Judge, who was of the view that the Court lacked jurisdiction to grant bail in relation to cases filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The prosecution had not objected to the bail request.

President’s Counsel Nalinda Indatissa, Attorneys Asith Siriwardena and Hafeel Farisz, and a host of other lawyers had appeared for Hizbullah and his co-accused.