Court dismisses Udayanga’s plea

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Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage, on Friday (12), dismissed a request seeking an order for the temporary lifting of the overseas travel ban, imposed on former Sri Lanka Envoy to Russia, Udayanga Weeratunga.

The former diplomat has been charged before the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court, over the misappropriation of a sum of USD 7 million, over the purchase of MIG aircrafts for the SL Air Force.

The suspect had told the Court, that as he has to attend a trade summit abroad, the foreign travel ban imposed on him should be set aside temporarily.

But, his request, which was filed via a motion by Senior Counsel Asith Siriwardene, was rejected by the Court.

The CID informed Magistrate Gamage, that the suspect had absconded Court whilst being abroad since 2015.

They stated that he had returned to the country, only after the new regime had assumed power three years ago.

Hence, they pointed out that if the suspect is allowed to go overseas, his return to the country would be uncertain.

Hence, the CID stressed, they were vehemently opposed, to any order issued to facilitate the overseas travel of the suspect.

However, Weeratunga’s lawyer opined that though a probe had been conducted against his client over the past seven-years, the prosecution has failed to submit any evidence, to implicate his client in the alleged incident.

Taking the submissions into consideration, the Fort Magistrate dismissed the request for the temporary lifting of the foreign travel ban imposed on the suspect.

By Hansi Nanayakkara