US concerned about impeachment of Sri Lankan chief justice

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 09:40 hrs

Colombo, Dec 7 (IANS) The US said Friday that it was "very concerned" about the state of Sri Lanka's judiciary and the impeachment process of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.

"We urge the government and the Parliamentary Select Committee investigating the chief justice (to) ensure (that) any investigation be conducted transparently, guarantee due process, and is conducted in accordance with the rule of law," the US embassy said in a statement.

Xinhua adds: Meanwhile, the International Commissionof Jurists (ICJ) said that the impeachment process against the chief justice ignored international standards and practice.

The ICJ urged the Sri Lankan government to take immediate steps to uphold the independence of the judiciary and adhere to international standards and practice on the removal of judges.

The government had filed 14 charges against Bandaranayake and subsequently appointed a Parliamentary Select Committee to probe the allegations against her.

However, on Thursday, Bandaranayake walked out of the Select Committee process, saying she had no faith in it.

It was reported that the chief justice had been denied the right to cross- examine potential witnesses and has not been provided full disclosure of the allegations against her.

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