The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) today informed Fort Magistrate’s Court that an illegal entity in Qatar by the name ‘Qatar Charity’ had credited Rs.13mn to ‘Save the Pearl’ organisation belonging to the detained lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah for ‘terrorist activities’.
The CID said the organization ‘Qatar Charity’ had funded to construct a building for Save the Pearls, and therefore they were investigating the charity arm. Meanwhile, the CID informed Court that “Qatar Charity” is a terrorist funding organisation and said that offences relating to funding terrorism were being probed by them.
Meanwhile, Counsel representing Mr. Hizbullah told court that a simple search on Google would have cleared any ambiguity as to what “Qatar Charity” was. He said the Charity works closely with the Sri Lankan government, the United Nations and UNICEF and many other international organistions.
The counsel said that ‘Qatar Charity’ is the main charitable arm of the Emir of Qatar and that even during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Doha worked closely with “Qatar Charity”. He also said the organisation is on a terror list in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) due to prevailing diplomatic stand-off between KSA and Qatar.
The Counsel further said the CID had no evidence against Mr. Hizbullah and the fact that they have named the “Qatar Charity” as a terror entity is a further evidence to show the case against him was fabricated.
The CID said they had concluded the investigation and sent the file to the Attorney General and that the TID was further investigating links with the so-called ‘Qatar Charity.’
The matter is to be taken up before the Fort Magistrates Court on October 7. Farman Cassim PC with Hafeel Fareez and Dhanushan Ganeshayogan appeared for Mr. Hizbullah. (Yoshitha Perera)