Case against Prasanna Ranatunga postponed for the fifth occasion

 

The case filed against Gampaha District Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was today postponed for trial by Colombo High Court for the fifth consecutive occasion.

When the case came up before Colombo Chief High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke, the Court re-fixed the case for trial to be heard on February 14 citing that the Court has assigned time for another trial.

At the previous occasion (August 23), defence counsel sought a new trial date citing that his client wants to attend parliament sessions.

This case had been fixed for trial on five occasions (October 7 last year, January 26 this year, May 23 this year, August 23 this year and October 26) for various reasons.

When the case was taken up for trial today the key witnesses’ virtual complainant and his wife were present in court. The first and second witnesses were advised to appear in Court next trial date.

Meanwhile, the High Court today permitted Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife Maureen Ranatunga to go abroad (Australia) between December 10 and December 22 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.

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 from 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.

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 Rs.15 million and the voice recordings of the alleged incident had been listed as a production item.

Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Anil Silva appeared for the accused.

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