Ex-President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath required to make statement, AG tells SC

Tuesday, 7 November 2017 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By S.S.Selvanayagam

The Attorney General yesterday (6) informed the Supreme Court that the Petitioner Gamini SedaraSenarath, the former President’s Chief of Staff, cooperated with the investigation into the alleged siphoning off of funds to the Hambantota Hotel projectand the investigation was completed but he was now required to give statement.

Counsel for the Petitioner told Court that the Petitioner undertakes to be present in Fort Magistrate’s Court and give a statement.

The Bench comprising Justices B.P.Aluvihara, Priyantha Jayawardane and Anil Gooneratne fixed for support on 17 November for granting of leave to proceed his petition along with other two similar petitions filed by former Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation PiyadasaKudabalage and former Commissioner of Samurdhi Neil Bandara Hapuwinna

Petitioners are seeking an order from the Supreme Court preventing the FCID from arresting them over magisterial inquiries under the Public Property Act.

The case was filed in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court against them for an alleged offence of having misused Rs.4 billion in Government funds.

On an application by the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID), the Fort Magistrate had already issued an order preventing them from leaving the country.

The Petitioners cited Inspector General of Police PujithaJayasundara, the FCID Director, the Attorney General and several others as respondents.

The Petitioners lament their imminent arrest by the FCID at this juncture as being politically motivated and mala fide with the intentions of punishing them by depriving them of their personal liberty without any legally justifiable reason.

They claim therefore it constitutes an imminent infringement of the Fundamental Right to the freedom of movement and of choosing their residence in Sri Lanka and the right to equality and their entitlement to equal protection of the law guaranteed by the Constitution.

According to a B report filed in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, they have been accused of misusing Government funds by illegally investing Rs.4 billion from the Rs.18.5 billion approved by the Cabinet in 2012. 

It is stated that although the said funds were allocated for the Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel in Colpetty which was to be constructed by a company affiliated to Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, it had been invested in the Hambantota Hyatt Regency Hotel project.