Sri Lanka faces legal challenges in bid to resume hangings
COLOMBO, June 30: Sri Lanka's president is facing fresh legal challenges in his attempt to end a 43-year moratorium on capital punishment and start executing drug convicts, officials said on Sunday.
Two petitions were filed in the Court of Appeal on Friday seeking an order quashing any move by Maithripala Sirisena to resume executions, which have not been carried out since the last hanging in June 1976.
"The Court of Appeal will have a preliminary hearing next week. In the meantime, the prisons commissioner has given an assurance to court that there will be no hangings," a court official told AFP.
On Wednesday, Sirisena said he has completed formalities to resume hangings by signing the death warrants of four condemned drug convicts. He did not say when the executions would be carried out.
Justice ministry sources said they were yet to fill the vacancies for two hangmen, although more than a dozen candidates had been shortlisted for the job. -AFP