Mahanama, Dissanayake further remanded

The President’s former Chief of Staff I. H. K. Mahanama and former State Timber Corporation (STC) Chairman P. Dissanayake who were in remand custody on bribery charges, were further remanded till August 21 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday.

The investigations initiated with the complaint that I. H. K. Mahanama had demanded a bribe of Rs.540 million from an Indian Investor who was ready to acquire a section of the Kantale Sugar Factory. Mahanama had been attending to this matter of settling the transaction some time ago, while he was the Land Ministry Secretary. However, the Indian investor had refused to pay the sum stating that it was too high and demanded it be reduced.

Within several weeks, they had allegedly agreed to accept Rs.100 million. The two were arrested at a hotel car park in Colombo, on May 3, by bribery commission officers while accepting a bribe of Rs. 20 million.

While objecting the bail being granted to both suspects, Attorney-at-law appearing on behalf of the Bribery Commission informed the Magistrate that the investigations are not yet over. The Magistrate observed that the time taken for this case was not a special circumstance to grant bail and refused the plea.

The Magistrate fixed inquiry and bail order for August 21.

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