Colombo High Court Judge Shashi Mahendran released the former Chairman of the Warakapola Pradeshiya Sabha who had been given 18 years imprisonment for becoming guilty of an allegation of a bribe because he had received Presidential pardon.
The person who was released in this manner was a former Warakapola PS chairman Makewitage Laxman Pathiraja who was a resident of Dedigama in Nelundeniya.
He had been imprisoned due to the allegation leveled against him for obtaining a bribe of Rs. 25,000/- for awarding the contract of construction of three roads in Warakapola area.
The accused came to the dock with a file when the judgment was about to be delivered by the Court of Appeal. On that occasion, the letter issued by the President for pardon had been sent by the Ministry of Justice to the registrar of the Colombo High court and the letter concerned had been filed.
The judge took steps to release the accused as the President had informed the Justice Ministry to release him under presidential powers vested on him according to section 34 (A) of the constitution. (Manopriya Gunasekera)