Colombo Chief Magistrate Nandana Amerasinghe, on Friday (24), acquitted former Minister Kumara Welgama from the charges filed against him and released him from the case.
Welgama had been charged before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, by the Bribery Commission, with creating a post of Deputy Chairman to the SLTB, whilst serving as the then Minister of Transport and causing a loss of revenue amounting to Rs 3.3 million to the State by appointing one of his accomplices to the said post.
The Magistrate gave this order, based on a request made to him by officers of CIABOC, who sought to withdraw the case filed against the SJB MP, under the proviso of refiling the case against him.
The Defence had previously raised initial objections, stating that the prosecution has no right to maintain the lawsuit against the former Minister, as they had failed to obtain the signatures of its three Commissioners, when filing the case in the first place.
Taking the submissions into consideration, Chief Magistrate Amerasinghe, granted his approval to Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) to withdraw the lawsuit filed against the suspect MP.
He then acquitted and released Welgama from the case.
By Hansi Nanayakkara