Former CB Governor cross-examined on several text messages

Former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran was yesterday cross-examined on several text messages derived from his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius’s mobile phone,at the Treasury Bond Commission.

Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera questioned Mahendran on five texts including reminders, sent by the Personal Secretary of Aloysius, Steve Samuels to his boss Arjun Aloysius.

SASG De Livera took Mahendran through each text separately and querried about the content.

The first message’s content under question says, “We have A.Mahendran to do list” and the second text says “Chairman awaiting updates on to do list from AM and RK.”

The third text was a reminder, sent by Steve Samuels to Arjun Aloysius stating that there is a “Meeting at 10 p.m. with RK. New to do list file and AM to do list will be sent home.” It was sent on January 3, 2017.

SASG De Livera questioned Mahendran as to who AM, RK and what “home” is mentioned in the reminder. Mahendran said he has no knowledge about the content of the reminder.

He also said that he has never seen the person called Steve Samuels. “Does not this home means where you were living at Flower Road?” De Livera questioned. Mahendran denied any knowledge regarding the texts.

SASG De Livera then turned to the next text message which said “Asela is bringing that file to me. Do you want that file to be brought to Flower Road to AM?”

Arjun Mahendran: I am not aware of any file.

SASG De Livera: Was there any other AMs in Flower Road?

AM: Yes. My daughter.

SASG De Livera: Is she AM?

AM: Yes she is Anjalee Mahendran.

SASG: Was she receiving files?

AM: I don’t know.

SASG: Can find out.

AM: Do you know this Asela?

AM: No.

SASG De Livera then truned to the next text which he said to be an incoming call. It says, “Good luck with RK meeting . I hope Mr. Arjuna has a good meeting too. I saw Governor Coomaraswamy and Sampath waiting to meet RK. And then I saw Mr. Arjuna getting into the lift when I was stepping in.”

SASG: This Arjuna, is it you?

AM: I don’t recall any such incident.

SASG: Do you recall seeing these persons?

AM: No.

SASG: Do you Steve Samuels?

AM: No.

SASG: But Samuels seems to know you well.

AM: My face is in the paper everyday. These ladies and gentlemen around here (referring to journalists) make sure to do that!

SASG: Are you saying Steve Samuels coming to Flower Road regularly has not encountered you in person?

AM: Never. I have never seen him. Even if I see him now, I will not be able to recognise him.

SASG: But Samuels know you only too well.

AM: Well, I have become a famous person in this country.

SASG: Well known for so many things.

SASG De Livera then questioned on the final text message which was in the form of a reminder which was sent on January 5, 2017. It says “Meeting at 5.30 pm. With AM and Lasantha. At Flower Road residence.”

SASG De Livera asked who Lasantha Somaratne is, to which Mahendran said “He was a financial advisor to Ravi Karunanayake.”

Mahendran said the AM could not have been him as at the said at the said date he was in Singapore.

SASG: But if these text messages have real content, you would have met Lasantha at Flower Road residnece at 5.30 pm?

AM: But I don’t know who AM is. It could be Arjun Mahendran. It could be Anjalee Mahendra or Aravind Mahendran.

SASG De Livera suggested that Mahendran is “lying through his teeth.” The Commissioner Supreme Court Judge P.S. Jayawarda, adding to the amusement to the otherwise serious interrogation, asked if “You are friends with Angello Matthews?” causing ripples of laughter among those who were present at the hearing.

At a later stage of the cross examination, SASG De Livera asked Mahendran if he noticed that his counsel named all the documents marked by him as AM, to mean Arjun Mahendran. 

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