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Sri Lankan prime minister rejects foreign judges

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said foreign judges will not be involved in a probe on violations of international humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict as Sri Lanka’s constitution would not allow it.

Mr Wickremesinghe told reporters that Sri Lanka’s judiciary would have to approve any involvement of foreign judges, as has been stated in a resolution presented to the UN Human Rights Council. Foreign judges can be consulted but not actually involved in proceedings, said the prime minister.

The New Indian Express reported the prime minister as stating that “he and his government had saved both the Rajapaksas from facing an international war crimes inquiry by "properly handling" the issue since January”.

“It was Rajapaksa's blunder that forced Sri Lanka to subject it to an international inquiry,” he was further reported to have said.

Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera would be talking with the UN Human Rights Council to inform them of the local constitutional impediments to having foreign judges, said the prime minister.

The resolution, which was agreed on by Sri Lanka, calls for a "credible justice process" with "independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality" and "Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators".

Also see:

Mangala hails resolution as a victory for Sri Lanka (26 Sep 2015)

Ranil says biggest issue facing Sri Lanka has been removed, resolution mandates domestic mechanism (25 Sep 2015)

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