Case against Mahanama and Dissanayaka to be taken up today

The bribery case filed against President’s former Chief of Staff Kusumdasa Mahanama and former State Timber Corporation (STC) Chairman Piyadasa Dissanayaka would be taken up today by the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar, for further examination of witness statements.

Presidents Counsel Rienzie Arsecularatne raised an objection that the Director-General of the Bribery Commission has filed an indictment stating that no document has been produced to prove the consent of the commission.

Accordingly, the Trial-at-Bar bench comprising High Court judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Janaki Rajaratne, rejected the objection which was made by PC Rienzie Arsecularatne as there was no basis in the affirmative action.

The complainant and the key witness in the case, Indian businessman K.P. Nagaraja, testified before the court. He was ordered to produce his two mobile phones which included the conversations in connection with the alleged bribe before the court, today.

Yesterday, the defence counsel was unable to produce the experts to investigate two mobile phones which included the conversations and, accordingly, the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar postponed the case for today.

The accused are charged with allegedly soliciting a bribe of Rs.540 million and accepting another Rs.20 million from an Indian investor who wished to acquire a section of the Kantale sugar factory.

The Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) Director-General had filed indictments against the two accused under 24 counts for allegedly committing offences under Sections 19(b), 19(c), 25(2), and 25(3) of the Bribery Act. The two accused were arrested by CIABOC officers in the car park of a luxury hotel in Colombo on May 3, 2018, while they were accepting a bribe of Rs.20 million.


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