Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa and three other Economic Development Ministry officials were today ordered to be further remanded till May 20 by Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala for allegedly misappropriating millions of Ministry funds without Treasury sanction.
At the outset, the Counsel appearing for the suspects filed written submissions seeking seek bail for their clients. They contended that the alleged offences committed by the suspects did not come under the provisions of the Public Property Act, and as such the Magistrate was empowered to grant bail to the suspects.
However, the Police Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) responded to the counsel that they would first seek the Attorney General’s advice on the submissions of the counsel and sought two weeks time to reply.
At this stage the Defence Counsel Sandya Thalduwa contended that the Attorney General did not have any status to make directions to the Magistrate on granting bail. She said it was a matter of the Magistrate’s discretion to grant bail to the suspects.
Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Former Divineguma Department Director General R.A.K Ranawaka, Former Economic Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Nihal Jayathilake and its Bank Director P.B.Thilakasiri were accordingly further remanded till May 20. (Farook Thajudeen and Irangani Edirisinghe)