Pastor Jerome Fernando was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) a short while ago, police confirmed.
Accordingly, Pastor Fernando has been arrested a few hours after he arrived at the CID to record a statement concerning his remarks that stirred up much controversy in the country.
Earlier today, the self-styled ‘prophet’ arrived at the CID for the second consecutive day to provide a statement regarding his much-disputed comments on several religions. Fernando made his first appearance at the CID last morning (30 Nov.) and provided a statement for around 08 hours
Pastor Fernando found himself in hot water after a video of one of his sermons went viral on social media, due to allegations that it included derogatory statements related to Lord Buddha and other religious figures.
He then flew out to Singapore on 14 May, two days before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court banned his foreign travels.
Pastor Fernando returned to the island on Wednesday morning (29 Nov.) after months of controversy over his remarks. He had arrived from Singapore on board a Qatar Airlines flight and left the airport through the Gold Route at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Katunayake.
As per a court directive, the CID’s Cyber Crime Investigation Division is now obtaining a statement from the pastor within 48 hours of his arrival on the island.
On 17 November, the Court of Appeal ordered the CID not to arrest Pastor Fernando upon his arrival in the country. The ruling also mentioned Pastor Jerome should record a statement with the CID’s Cyber Crime Investigation Division within 48 hours of his arrival. This interim order was issued in respect of the petition filed by Pastor Fernando, seeking to prevent the CID from arresting him.