UN human rights boss slams Sri Lanka over chief justice

By REUTERS
January 18, 2013 19:15

 
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GENEVA - United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has accused Sri Lanka of "gross interference" in the judiciary, warning that its removal of the chief justice could jeopardize efforts to prosecute war crimes.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed a close ally as chief justice on Tuesday, two days after sacking the previous top judge for impeachment despite opposition from the Supreme Court.

"The removal of the Chief Justice through a flawed process - which has been deemed unconstitutional by the highest courts of the land - is, in the High Commissioner's view, gross interference in the independence of the judiciary and a calamitous setback for the rule of law in Sri Lanka," Pillay's spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday.

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