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Presidential commission to summon heads of State intuitions


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  • 50 cases to be taken up initially out of 600 complaints
  • Hearings to commence before month-end, politicians to be called in second roun   

 

By Shanika Sriyananda

Corruption investigations will soon be kicked into high gear with the Special Presidential Commission appointed to probe large-scale fraud under the former Government summoning senior officials of State institutions.

The Commission has selected 50 complaints for the first round of investigations and selected senior State officials to testify before the five-member Commission comprising four former judges and a former Auditor General.



President Maithripala Sirisena fulfilling his election pledge has appointed the Commission during the 100-day program mainly to bring those engaged in large-scale corruption and financial irregularities in State institutions, to the book, an official said.

The Commission, which directly comes under the Presidential Secretariat, has received over 600 complaints on various allegations including financial irregularities, corruption and political interference at State institutions.



The Commission is comprised of four High Court Judges, Chairman Preethi Padman Surasena, Amendra Seneviratne, Vikum Kaluarachchi and Gihan Kulathunga. Retired Auditor General Sarath Mayadunne is also part of the Commission.



“We will probe about 50 major complaints at the first round. There are complaints against politicians but the Commission needs to have in-depth investigations into them. We expect to summon the politicians during the second round of hearing,” Secretary of the Commission Lacille de Silva told the Daily FT.



By setting up a special court at the BMICH, the Commission will commence its first public hearing before the end of this month.

“There is a slight delay in commencing public hearings as the Commission is still waiting to receive another set of Police officers to conduct the investigations. We have a team of 10 Police officers headed by an Assistant Superintendent of Police but this number needs to be increased to 20 Police officers to have an efficient process,” he said.

He said the Commission needed to get the assistance of highly-competent Police investigators to probe serious allegations on corruption and financial fraud.



With a mandate to summon anyone, despite their political affiliations or power, before the Commission, it is empowered to summon former presidents and prime ministers if necessary, he said.


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