Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunge and his wife, who had been indicted before the Colombo High Court and ordered to appear in Court on June 17, were released on bail by High Court Judge Manilal Waidyathilaka today.
The accused appeared in court yesterday on a motion filed by their Attorney Mary Dickman seeking bail.
The bail application was supported by Anil Silva PC, who appeared with Attorneys- at –law Chandika Pieris and Dhanaraj Samarakoon.
The Counsel said that the accused were invited to attend for two functions in Australia and Japan.
However, in the meantime they were also ordered to appear in court on June 17 for the case and said, since his clients had to attend the ceremonies to release them on bail to make possible for them to attend the functions.
On considering the submissions Judge Waidyathilaka released both of them on Rs. One million cash and two sureties for Rs 2.5 million surety bail with two sureties on each of them.
They were ordered to present in person before the FCID on the last Sundays of every month between 9.00 a.m. and 12.00 noon
In this case the three accused, former Western Province Chief Minister and Prasanna Ranatunge, his wife Maurine Stella Ranatunge and businessman Haraesh Kumar of Kalubowila, Dehiwela were indicted under 15 charges for extorting Rs. 64 million from the Sampath Waduge Suranjan Kristian Gihad Mendis by intimidating the him.
The Attorney General had listed 65 witnesses and 35 documents related to the case. The accused were indicted for conniving with each other for intimidating the victim and for extorting Rs 64 million.
The accused had collected the money by intimidating the victim between April 10 and May 7, 2015.
The victim had signed four promissory notes under duress in the name of the second accused.
It was said that the accused had solicited and taken the money from the victim to evacuate 24 families, who had encroached the victim’s land at Meetotamulla, Kolonnawa.
The case was fixed for June 17. (T. Farook Thajudeen)