Namal, five others fixed for trial

MP Namal Rajapaksa arriving at the Colombo High Court with his lawyers. Pictures by Shan Rupassara

A case filed against Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and five others for their alleged involvement in laundering money amounting to Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited was yesterday fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court.

Iresha Silva, one of the 
directors of Gowers Corporate Services, was present in court 
when the case was taken up and later released on bail. Silva seen leaving the High Courtpremises yesterday.

The Colombo High Court fixed the case for trial on February 16 and prosecution witnesses of the case were noticed to appear in Courts on the next trial date.

The four accused are: Namal Rajapaksa, the eldest son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nithya Senani Samaranayake, Sujani Bogollagama and Iresha Silva who functioned as the directors of Gowers Corporate Services.

Director Iresha Silva was also present in court when the case was taken up before High Court Judge Piyasena Ranasinghe. However, the second and sixth accused Indika Karunajeewa and Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited were not present in Court but were represented by attorneys.

At a previous occasion, the High Court permitted the prosecution to proceed the trial in the absentia of second and sixth accused in the case in terms of section 241 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The Colombo High Court served indictments on three accused earlier regarding this money laundering case.

The Attorney General has filed indictments against Namal Rajapaksa, Indika Karunajeewa, Sujani Bogollagama, Iresha Silva, Nithya Senani Samaranayake and Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited on 11 counts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for their alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.30 million in a company (Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited) owned by Namal Rajapaksa between 2013 and 2014.

It was reported that Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited of Colombo 5, is providing coordinating services to SriLankan Airlines.

The FCID had initiated investigations into this matter following a complaint by Voice Against Corruption Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe.

Samarasinghe alleged that MP Namal Rajapaksa had bought shares of a company named Hello Corp and set up a company called Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited while being an MP from the Rs.125 million earned through illegal means.

State Counsel Padmal Weerasinghe appeared for the Attorney General.

President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe appeared for Namal Rajapaksa. President’s Counsel Anil de Silva appeared for the third accused.

Counsel Sampath Mendis appeared for the second and fourth accused.

Iresha arrested at the BIA

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