Further cross examination on October 10

The cross examination into the Udaya Gammanpila misappropriation case will be taken up again on October 10.

When the case against Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila regarding the alleged misappropriation of Rs 20 million through the sale of shares of a company using a forged power of attorney was taken up for hearing in the Colombo High Court, High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe put off further cross examination by the defence for October 10.

When the case was taken up on Monday, Shaveendra Fernando PC appearing for the defence cross examined Brian Shaddick, owner of a private firm in Australia named Digital Nominees. Although Shaddick had earlier claimed that he never visited Sri Lanka between the period 1996 to 2015, the Defence Counsel reminded him that he had visited Sri Lanka in October 1997 to be an attesting witness at the marriage of one Sydney Jayasinghe’s son.

Defence Counsel also questioned him about throwing away outdated passports.

In this case, the Attorney General has indicted MP Udaya Gammanpila on two courts including the misappropriation of Rs 20 million by selling shares issued by Pan Asia Bank in the name of Digital Nominees Company to one Dhammika Perera on July 27, 2000 or thereabout.

Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake appeared for the Attorney General and a team of attorneys led by Shaveendra Fernando PC and Jayantha Weerasinghe appeared for the defence.

Gammanpila who held the post of Central Environment Authority Chairman under the Rajapaksa government defected from the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) in 2014 and pledged his support to then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Gammampila sits with the Joint Opposition in Parliament.

Evidence led by the prosecution in the case earlier this year included a report by the Government Analyst Department's Examiner of Questioned Documents (EQD) asserting that the signature of Brian Shaddick was cut and pasted from another document,and that the signature of Shaddick's wife on the false power-of-attorney instrument was forged.

On Monday, Shaddick, when asked under cross-examination whether he had indeed issued such a power-of-attorney, vehemently denied the charge. Shaddick responded passionately to an allegation by defence counsel that the entire case was put together simply as an excuse for police officers to visit Australia on holiday under the auspices of recording his statement as ridiculous, commending the hard work and diligence of the SIU officers who helped bring the case to trial. 

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