Source: The Island
The Foreign Ministry yesterday dismissed reports that a presidential pardon at the executive level on the Tissainayagam verdict was possible.
A ministry spokesperson said: “The issue of pardon at the Executive level does not arise at this juncture, since such an option could only come into consideration following all judicial procedures for an appeal being exhausted.”
The following is the full statement; “Some sections of the international community have regrettably thought it fit to criticize the verdict given on 31st August 2009 by the High Court in the case of J. S. Tissainayagam, bringing into question the judicial process and integrity of judicial officers in Sri Lanka.”
“It may be noted that the said verdict was arrived at after following a due process according to the domestic laws of Sri Lanka, and therefore does not amount in anyway to a negation of media freedom in the country. These utterances could be construed to be bringing disrepute and undermining the independence of the judiciary of Sri Lanka, and causing disrespect to the laws applicable in the country.”
“Questioning or criticizing this judicial action is misplaced, especially since Mr. Tissainayagam has the right to appeal in accordance with Sri Lanka’s judicial process in respect of the appellate courts. The issue of pardon at the Executive level does not arise at this juncture, since such an option could only come into consideration following all judicial procedures for an appeal being exhausted.”