In a significant turn of events during the trial of Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent lawyer and human rights activist, at the Puttalam High Court on July 14th, a prosecution witness, Fowzan, made a startling admission. Fowzan confessed that he had previously lied to the court under the influence of another prosecution witness named Malik.
Initially, Fowzan had claimed that Zaharan and his brother Rilwan had visited the madrasa and conducted lectures. However, during cross-examination by Counsel Chaminda Atukorale, Fowzan admitted that he had never actually seen Zaharan or Rilwan at the madrasa. Moreover, he revealed that his statement regarding Hejaaz Hizbullah’s alleged visit to the madrasa was also untrue. Fowzan stated that it was Malik who had pressured him to make these false claims before the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the court.
In response to these revelations, Hejaaz Hizbullah’s legal team, comprising Nalinda Indatissa PC, Farman Cassim PC, Asith Siriwardena, and Piyumi Seneviratne, presented their defense. The trial, marked by the presence of trial observers from the European Union and the United States embassy in Sri Lanka, has now been scheduled to resume on October 19th and 20th for further proceedings.
Hejaaz Hizbullah, a well-known human rights lawyer, was taken into custody in April 2020 under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The case has garnered significant attention both domestically and internationally.