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Sunday, 26 August 2018 10:16

Permanent High Court-at-Bar in action from Thursday

The Permanent High Court-at-Bar set up to hear high profile cases of financial fraud and corruption, began sittings on Thursday (23), and will fix dates for the continuous hearing of the case against former Chief of Staff of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gamini Senarath, Piyadasa Kudabalage, Neil Bandara and Lasantha Bandara, at its next hearing on September 19.

There are 24 charges against the accused, including transfer of Rs 500 million from Litro Gas to Canwill Holdings and of Corporation funds to Hyatt Regency Hotel project in Hambantota. They were served indictments and released on cash bail of Rs 100,000 each, while their passports were impounded. The charges have been framed under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Public Property Act.

The 3-Judge Bench headed by High Court (HC) Judge Sampath Abeykoon comprises HC Judges Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne. The President of the Court said the Trial-at-Bar Court was created to try special assignments and functions within a specified legal framework.

The Attorney General (AG) listed 92 documents and named 63 witnesses. The related investigations lasted from February 1, 2014-January 20, 2015. Canvill Holdings CEO was indicted for illegal transfer of funds and purchase of property in Nuwara Eliya in 2014, and investing in Little England Cottage project.

Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appeared for the AG.Gamini Marapana P.C., Anil Silva P.C. and Counsel Navin Marapana appeared for the Defendants.