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PRECIFAC recommends filing indictment against MR

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) has recommended filing indictment against former President Mahinda Rajapaksa over the non-payment of money to the Independent Television Network (ITN) for his campaign advertisements in the run up to the 2015 Presidential Polls.

PRECIFAC has held him responsible for committing one or more offenses of “corruption”, “conspiring for corruption” and “encouraging corruption”.

In its final report, it has recommended filing indictment on former ITN Chairman Anura Siriwardena, former ITN Deputy General Manager (Marketing) Upali Ranjith, former ITN Assistant Manager Dilip Wickramasinghe, and former President Rajapaksa for committing the above offences.

The final report of Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Bond issue and the report of Presidential Commission Inquiring into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) was tabled in Parliament yesterday.

The Commission is of the view that the above mentioned ITN officers are not fit to hold positions or work in the ITN or any other public institution hereafter. It has also expressed its opinion against the re-election of any public representative who is found guilty of the offence of corruption.

The Commission has determined that the above mentioned ITN officers and the former President have committed an offence under Article 70 of the Bribery Act by telecasting advertisements to the tune of Rs.102 million free of charge knowing that it causes a loss to the ITN and that it benefits Presidential Candidate Rajapaksa’s campaign in an unlawful manner.

The Commission has also held them responsible for non-recovery of Rs.2.4 million owed to the ITN from ‘Special Solutions’ which handled Rajapaksa’s campaign advertisements. It had also held them responsible for charging double amount for campaign advertisements of Common Candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

The PRECIFAC report tabled yesterday included details on 34 investigations including that of Negombo Lagoon Development project, leasing of Vidanagamage Shopping Complex in Mahiyanganaya, Avant Garde, Sri Lankan Catering and Sri Lankan Airlines, expenses incurred for the water filling ceremony of Hambantota Port (Karadiyawara Mangalya), abuse of public funds and resources by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, frauds and irregularities at the Udarata Development Authority, Deyata Kirula Exhibition in 2013, corruption related to renovation of Tsunami Warning Towers etc.