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HC allows Prasanna Ranathunga and his wife to go abroad

 

The Colombo High Court day permitted Gampaha District Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife Maureen Ranatunga to go abroad for a period of three weeks.

The Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, his wife Maureen Ranatunga and another person on the charge of threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs.64 million.

When the case came up before Colombo High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke, defense counsel appearing on behalf of the accused sought Court’s permission to release their passports to obtain Australian visa. Accordingly, two accused were permitted to leave country between September 9 and October 2.

At a previous occasion, Colombo High Court decided to proceed the trial against Gampaha District Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife in absentia of third accused Naresh Kumar Fareek who was evading Courts since the beginning of investigations.

MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife are currently out on bail.

The Attorney General filed indictments on 15 counts against three accused Prasanna Ranatunga, Maureen Ranatunga and Naresh Kumar Fareek based on charges of committing offences during the period between April 6, 2015 and June 2, 2015.

In addition, the AG has named 65 witnesses and included 35 articles as Court’s productions against three accused in this case. The prosecutors maintained that businessman Gehard Mendis who purchased a 2.5 acre land in Meethotamulla sometime back had allegedly requested the former Chief Minister to evacuate the unlawful occupants of that land and fill it with soil. The prosecutors alleged that the former Chief Minister’s wife along with two others had entered into an agreement with the businessman and the latter had already paid Rs.15 million to the former for the services.

The businessman Gehard Mendis had lodged a complaint with FCID saying that the former Chief Minister had threatened him over the phone demanding the rest of the money involved in a promised deal.

The prosecution maintained that the investigations have revealed that the accused had misappropriated a sum of Rs.15 million and the voice recordings of the alleged incident had been listed as a production