Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake issued arrest warrants on MP Ravi Karunanayake and nine others over the Central Bank bond scam.
He said the arrest warrants were issued under Section 139 (3) and 139 (1) (a) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
When the case was taken up in the morning, the Magistrate handed over a questioner to Senior Deputy Solicitor General (SDSG) Haripiya Jayasundara and her team to provide more details on the matter. A written answer sheet was handed over to the Magistrate in the evening by SDSG Jayasundra.
Based on the answers and the evidence, the Magistrate said there was sufficient evidence for a court case on the suspects on charges of criminal misappropriation, market manipulation, and insider dealing relating to two bond auctions held on March 29 and March 31, 2016 with a face value of Rs.36.98 billion.
The Magistrate observed that the tenth suspect in the case Buddhika Sarathchandra's involvement in the matter was in only having a phone conversation with an official of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). He said warrant for his arrest would not be issued to the tenth suspect considering that he had no intention of organising any conspiracy in the country.
The Magistrate said he would issue summons on the first suspect, Perpetual Treasuries Ltd to appear in Courts on the next hearing date.
On the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake, the Magistrate said the suspect had organized a meeting with three leading state bank officials and advised them to maintain a certain limit in the productivity ratio of the bond issuance.
“The advice given by Mr. Karunayake has affected the bond issuances by the banks which had to sell the bonds at a lower cost. As a result the first suspect, PTL was able to obtain bonds illegally by violating the law,” the Magistrate said.
He observed that the second suspect had helped create an artificial market to obtain bonds for PTL.
The Magistrate said PTL had sold these bonds to the EPF at the secondary market when the EPF able to buy bonds at the primary market. “This situation has affected the EPF to incur a loss with the government having to pay interest on the bonds purchased by PTL," the Magistrate said.
He said there was sufficient evidence to maintain a court case against these suspects.
SDSG Jayasundra had informed Court that according to the AG these suspects could face charges of insider dealing and market manipulation under Section 386 and 398 of the Penal Code read with 5 (1) and 5 (2) of the Public Property Act and could be filed under the Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance read with the CBSL’s Code of Conduct for primary dealers. (Yoshitha Perera)