Treasury Bond issue: Perpetual Lawyer to step down

Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL)Lawyer Nihal Fernando PC said that he could not continue to represent the company and will make a decision by Wednesday following the revelation of deleted phone calls by Perpetual Treasuries. “It is matter of my professional reputation. I did my best with regard the transactions but this was beyond me” he said. He further said that he completely relied on the instructions given to him by his client, Perpetual Treasuries.

“I told them to give everything they had.The notices were first sent to the holding company, but still I told them to give everything that they have. That is all I can do” he said.

Commissioner Justice Prasanna Jayawardena said that he did not doubt the integrity of Fernando.

“We don’t doubt your integrity for a moment. We have the highest regard for you,” Jayawardena said.

Earlier during an exchange between ASG Dappula De Livera, Yasantha Kodagoda and Fernando, De Livera said that Fernando had given an undertaking that “all the recordings were provided”.

Fernando said he did and that he complied with the undertaking to the best of his knowledge relying on the instructions given to him.

Kodagoda, thereafter asked Fernando if his client had lied to him to which Fernando said “ yes”.

Fernando further said that it was not professionally correct to walk out of the proceedings as he had an obligation to his client. However, he said he will talk to his client and step down. “ They can find someone else instead of me” he said.

Fernando also observed that “if there is a criminal aspect to the issue” it would be difficult him to represent PTL.

The Commissioners thereafter asked Fernando to make his decision by Wednesday.

Giving evidence today Perpetual Treasuries Chief Dealer Nuwan Salgado said that they had planned to “ crash” the computer which recorded the calls.

He together with Kasun Palisena- the Chief Executive Officer of PTL nd the Head of IT Sachith Devathantri had discussed the “crashing if the computer”.

When questioned as to if Arjun Aloysius was aware of the decision to crash the computer, Salgado said he “assumed he was”.

“Yes he should have been aware” he said.

Salgado also said that he was instructed by Kasun Palisena to delete recordings which were “bad for PTL in the event an investigation was carried out”.

The instructions from Palisena was given after the Central Bank placed restrictions on PTL in November 2016.

Salgado also said that even though he was the Chief Dealer for Perpetual, he was not involved in any of the transactions with Saman Kumara, the Chief Dealer of the Employees Provident Fund.

He said all the dealings between Saman Kumara and PTL were handled by Palisena.

Salgado further said that he was not involved in the February 27 Bond transaction. He said the transaction was conducted by Palisena.

When questioned by the Commission as to if Arjun Aloysius was involved in the decision making of the February 27 transaction, Salgado said, “ yes he should have been.”

 

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