Sri Lanka's top judge walks out of impeachment hearing
Colombo: Sri Lanka's first woman Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake today stormed out of the impeachment hearing against her in parliament, saying she will not be given a fair trial.
Bandaranayake would not attend the parliament select committee proceedings any more, sources close to her said. They said she and her lawyers protested that they could not expect a fair hearing.
Bandaranayake, 54, was attending the third day's hearing today of the probe where she is accused of 14 charges of private and professional conduct as the top judge.
Her lawyers had protested against lack of time allowed for the investigation and refusal to allow cross examination of witnesses, source said.
Bandaranayaka was impeached on November 1 when a group of parliamentarians handed over the motion to the speaker of parliament.
In accordance with the procedure, the speaker appointed a 11-member select committee.
Bandaranayake's walk out came as opposition legislators in the panel yesterday hinted that they may stay away from proceedings.
The impeachment came as a result of months long dispute between the judiciary and the executive.
Meanwhile, a parliamentary official said today's hearing, the third since it began on November 23, ended abruptly as Bandaranayake staged her dramatic walkout and vowed not to attend any more hearings of a panel dominate by ruling party MPs.
Meanwhile, the ruling party sources said the select committee would continue its hearings.
They would reconvene in parliament tomorrow, the sources added.
However, there was no reaction from the four members of the opposition.
The sources denied the judge's assertion that the panel's ruling party majority had attempted to introduce fresh charges and had tried to amend the original charge sheet.