Ranjan Ramanayake, deputy minister of the United National Party before his election in 2019, says he is targeted for exposing corruption.
An outspoken Sri Lankan opposition politician has been jailed for four years for his comments alleging that the majority of judges in the South Asian island nation were corrupt.
Ranjan Ramanayake, deputy minister of the United National Party before his election in 2019, said he was targeted for speaking out against corruption.
The 57-year-old was sentenced Tuesday to “rigorous imprisonment” by the Supreme Court for making the remarks in 2017 in front of journalists outside the official residence of the Prime Minister in Colombo.
“We condemn him for contempt of court … and sentence him to four years’ imprisonment,” according to the 20-page court verdict seen by the AFP news agency.
“He admitted in his testimony that he said the following words: ‘The majority in Sri Lanka are corrupt judges, corrupt lawyers. They work for money, ”said the decision, which was unanimous.
Ramanayake was deputy minister of then-President Maithripala Sirisena’s government when he made the remarks after a meeting with senior anti-corruption officials.
Following the change of government, Ramanayake was arrested and charged with recording over 100,000 personal phone calls.
The sometimes obscene and compromising content was leaked on social media early last year, causing considerable scandal.
In some of the tapes, Ramanayake is heard discussing court cases with local judges, police, politicians and celebrities.
A separate investigation into the records is underway.