Case against Basil et al : Prosecution concludes submissions
By Hansi Nanayakkara
Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige yesterday (22) informed Colombo High Court Judge R. Gurusinghe the prosecution had concluded its submissions in the misappropriation of State funds case, filed against ex-Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three others.
Rajapaksa has been charged with misappropriating State funds, while functioning as the former Minister of Economic Development. Mudalige told the High Court the prosecution had produced submissions from nine witnesses to the trial. He observed that all documents concerning the case had also been produced, thus ending the submissions by the prosecution.
Counsels appearing for the accused ex-Minister and three others, then urged Justice Gurusinghe to acquit their clients from the charges filed against them without calling for submissions from the defence, based on provisions contained in Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Mudalige said, the decision of the prosecution regarding the request by the defence will be conveyed to the Court at the next hearing. The defence was represented by President’s Counsels Gamini Marapana, Naveen Marapana, Shavindra Fernando and Senarath Jayasinghe. Further proceedings of the trial were fixed for 10 November.
The Attorney General (AG) has indicted Rajapaksa and three others with misappropriating State finances amounting to Rs 2,994 million, towards providing housing loans to Samurdhi recipients through the Divi Neguma Development Funds, in the run-up to the 2015 Presidential Poll. The AG has charged that the actions of the accused quartet, had flouted provisions contained in Sections of the Offences against Public Property Act.
The other three accused in the trial, are ex-Secretary of the Ministry of Economic Development Dr. Nihal Jayathileka, ex-Director General of the Divi Neguma Development Department Kithsiri Ranawaka and ex-Deputy DG of the same Department Bandula Thilakasiri.