An outspoken Sri Lankan politician jailed last year for accusing the island nation’s judges of corruption was released on Friday after a presidential pardon.
Ranjan Ramanayake, 59, was deputy minister in 2017 when he told reporters that most magistrates were dishonest and “worked for money”.
He was found in contempt of court and jailed for four years in January 2021, but was released after a reprieve from President Ranil Wickremesinghe.
“I will continue my campaign against corruption,” Ramanayake said in a press kit outside the prison in the capital Colombo. “I want to participate in elections and work for my people.”
The president granted the pardon after Mr Ramanayake apologized to the courts, a government official said.
Mr. Ramanayake had claimed he was targeted for exposing corruption. He was also arrested in 2020 and charged with allegedly recording over 100,000 personal phone calls.
The sometimes obscene and compromising content was leaked on social media, causing a major scandal.
In some of the tapes, Mr. Ramanayake is heard discussing court cases with judges, police officers, politicians and local celebrities.
Police seized hard drives from his home and announced an investigation into whether the recordings had been used for blackmail or other criminal activity. The investigation remains open.
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