- AG officials tells Court that Interpol has informed CID of Mahendran’s name change
- An arrest warrant for Mahendran’s arrest was issued through Interpol last year
- Case to continue based on indictments served despite name change by the accused
- Next hearing on 17 Nov.
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) who is the first accused in the bond scam case, has changed his name to Harjan Alexander, the Interpol has informed the CID, an Attorney General’s Department official informed the High Court yesterday.
President’s Counsel Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Parinda Ranasinghe revealed that Mahendran, who has an Interpol warrant for his arrest, had change his name to Harjan Alexander. The bond scam case is being heard before the Permanent Trial-at-bar bench, comprising High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne.
ASG Ranasinghe said that the AG’s Department has been in touch with the AG’s Office in Singapore about the pending extradition of Mahendran who is a Singaporean citizen. He said a query was sent to the Singapore authorities if changes had to be made to the extradition request due to change in the name of the accused but was informed it was not necessary.
The High Court also said that the case could proceed based on the indictments despite the name change by one of the accused. Mahendran, under whose tenure as CBSL Governor the bond scam took place, has been absconding since he was named a suspect in the case. Indictments were filed against Mahendran and nine others before the Permanent High Court at Bar in June last year.
Another accused, Ajaan Gardiye Punchihewa, who is also believed to be in Singapore, has been absconding. The High Court yesterday reissued summons on Punchihewa after the ASG requested that fresh summons be served on him. Mahendran and nine others face charges of criminal misappropriation, market manipulation, cheating and insider dealing in relation to two bond auctions held in February and March 2016.
The suspects face charges under the Penal Code, offences against Public Property Act and the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance in connection with two bond auctions held on 29 and 31 of March 2016. They face charges of misappropriation of Rs 36.98 billion and Rs 15 billion in the two auctions, respectively. The case will be heard next on 17 November.