Amid pressure from his colleagues, Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe is reported to have ruled out the possibility of setting up a separate court to hear and dispense with cases of fraud and corruption involving members of the previous regime.
The Cabinet discussed what was described as ‘inordinate delay’ in filing cases against them.
The minister is reported to have told the Cabinet that a separate court could not be set up because of Constitutional restrictions.
The Constitution has to be amended to provide for special courts.
However, he said that a trial-at-bar could be set up to hear these cases if the Chief Justice and the Attorney General were agreed on this matter.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and Regional Development Minister Sarath Fonseka were among the ministers who pushed for speedy action against those accused of wrongdoing during the former regime.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka is reported to have said the government had taken much too long to initiate action on these matters and that the cases had been delayed primarily because of political interests.
President Maithripala Sirisena sought the views of newly appointed Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana. Mr. Marapana also said the Constitution did not provide for a separate court to be set up and pointed out that special arrangements could be made within the current judicial system to hear such cases. (Kelum Bandara)