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NewsAttorney General ‘cannot withdraw charges’ – Former CJ Sarath Silva

Attorney General ‘cannot withdraw charges’ – Former CJ Sarath Silva

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‘If there was no evidence why did the AG file the charges?’
The former Chief Justice (CJ) of Sri Lanka has questioned the legality of Attorney General’s (AG) withdrawal of murder and rape charges filed against government politicians.

Sarath Nanda Silva, the former CJ who held the position for over ten years said that the withdrawal of the charges “undermines judiciary and judicial independence.”

“The AG is the only person who can file criminal charges at the High Court. But even the AG does not have an authority to withdraw the charges after the proceedings have begun,” he told BBC Sinhala service, Sandeshaya.

AG Mohan de Silva recently withdrew murder charges against the former ruling party MP, Chandana Katriarachchi but the case continues on other minor charges.

 The AG is the only person who can file criminal charges at the High Court. But even the AG does not have an authority to withdraw the charges after the proceedings have begun

“The accused can be freed if evidence is not sufficient but only after the proper trial,” Sarath Nanda Silva said adding that the other possibility is that the case to discontinue.

“If there was no evidence why did the AG file the charges?.”

The AG also withdrew rape charges against the Colombo district ruling party MP, Duminda Silva.

Mr Silva was recently appointed by the president as the monitoring MP for Defence Ministry, which comes under President Rajapaksa and effectively controlled by his brother, Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

These actions by the AG, Mr Silva said, undermine the judiciary as well as the independence of the AG’s office
BBC Sandeshaya

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