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Gotabaya noticed to appear in court for pardoning Duminda Silva

Sri Lanka's Supreme Court on Thursday (24) issued notice on Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to make submissions with regard to the Presidential Pardon he gave to Ex-Parliamentarian Duminda Silva.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to make submissions before the 16th of December 2022.

Notice was issued on the Former President by the Surepme Court following the consideration of Fundamental Rights Applications filed against the Presidential Pardon by Hirunika Premachandra, her mother Sumana Premachandra, and Former Human Rights Commissioner Ghazali Hussain, PC.

The applications were called up in the presence of Justices Yasantha Kodagoda, and Murdhu Fernando, and further consideration of the applications will take place on the 16th of December.

On the 31st of May 2022, the Sri Lankan Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the Presidential Pardon given to Ex-MP Duminda Silva, who was on death row for the murder of Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra.

The Supreme Court had also imposed an overseas travel ban on Duminda Silva as well.

The former parliamentarian and ex-provincial councillor had been convicted on a charge of murder and sentenced to death.

After being pardoned in June 2021, Duminda Silva was appointed in July as Chairman of the National Housing Development Authority by then-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

Earlier during the time of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Duminda Silva served as Monitoring MP of the Defence Ministry while Gotabaya was the Defence Ministry Secretary.

Duminda Silva was involved in a shooting incident on 8 October 2011, during Local Authority Elections, where former MP Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra known as “Lucky Aiya” and three of his bodyguards were killed.

The High Court of Sri Lanka convicted Duminda Silva and four of his associates for murder and imposed the death sentence on them on 16 September 2016.

Subsequently the sentence was appealed but a five-Judge bench of the Supreme Court upheld the murder conviction of Silva in a unanimous 51-page verdict issued on 16 October 2018.

Despite the High Court conviction of 2016 being upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018, Duminda Silva was a free man in June 2021.

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