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Open warrant on Jaliya

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday issued an open warrant for the arrest of former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya for his failure to appear before Court.

The FCID had filed a B report in the Fort Magistrate’s Court against Jaliya Wickramasuriya for allegedly misappropriating USD 330,000 out of USD 6.6 million allocated for purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy in the US.

When the case came up before the Colombo Fort Magistrate, the suspect was not present in Court.

The Court was informed through his Counsel that the suspect has gone abroad for medical treatment with Court permission but failed to return before the due date.

President’s Counsel Shavindra Fernando appearing for the suspect further said his client is still receiving treatment at a hospital in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Magistrate warned that sureties would be liable for confiscation of the bail amount if they failed to appear in court on the next hearing date.

Two sureties including the wife of Jaliya Wickramasuriya were not present in court yesterday as well. Further magisterial inquiry was fixed for February 16.

The FCID alleged that the suspect had misappropriated the concerned amount committed during the purchase of a building to house the Sri Lankan embassy at 3025, White Haven Street, Washington 20008. The former ambassador had remitted this money to Sri Lanka. The former Ambassador is a close relative of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.