By S.S. Selvanayagam
By a majority decision, the five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court yesterday (11) refused to grant leave to appeal with the petition filed by former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa challenging the Trial-at-Bar order dated 11 January in the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case for 9 September.
The Bench comprised Justices Sisira J. De Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardane, Prasanna S. Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L.T.B. Dehideniya.
On 11 February, the Permanent High Court-at-Bar decided to overrule preliminary objections raised by Gotabaya Rajapaksa and six others in connection with the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case citing that the Permanent High Court-at-Bar has jurisdiction to hear this case.
The Attorney General had filed indictments against seven accused, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and members of the Director Board of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC) – Chairman Prasad Harshan de Silva, Bhadra Udulawathi Kamaladasa, Sudammika Kheminda Artigala, Saman Kumara Abraham Galappatti, Devage Mahinda Saliya and Srimathi Mallika Kumari Senadheera – under seven counts for allegedly misappropriating LRDC funds of Rs. 33.9 million.
Romesh de Silva, PC with Sugath Caldera instructed by Sanath Wijewardane appeared for Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawanna with State Counsel Udara Karunaratne appeared for the Attorney General.