Sri Lanka's first woman chief justice looked set to be removed from office after a parliamentary panel on Saturday found her guilty of three accusations of professional misconduct.
The charges against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake have raised international concerns that the government is trying to control the judiciary after crushing Tamil rebels in 2009 and consolidating its hold on power.
"We found her guilty," government panel member Susil Premajayantha told reporters in Colombo.
The parliamentary panel said it had found Bandaranayake guilty of three out of five charges of financial and professional misconduct levelled by the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance.
Under parliamentary procedure, if the chief justice is found guilty of even one charge, and a majority of the 225-member house votes for her removal, the president can dismiss her.
The ruling party holds two-thirds of the house.
The move to impeach Bandaranayake came after she scuttled several bills, including one that gave more powers to President Mahinda Rajapakse's brother Basil, the economic development minister.
Opposition committee members hearing the accusations walked out on Friday, a day after Bandaranayake staged a similar walkout, leaving the process in disarray amid charges that the government was determined to get rid of her.
The US embassy in Colombo said it was "very concerned" about the impeachment process and demanded that the government follow the rule of law.
The main Sri Lankan lawyers' associations, which represent thousands of lawyers, united on Friday to express solidarity with Bandaranayake and praised her for upholding the independence and dignity of the judiciary.
The Sri Lankan chief justice was originally accused of 14 charges of misconduct but the panel said it had only decided to investigate three.