By Yoshitha Perera
Bail order regarding the third alleged bond scam amounting to Rs. 15 billion which occurred on March 31, 2016, against former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and seven others will be delivered today by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.
Accordingly, Mr. Karunanayake and seven others who were arrested over the Central Bank bond scam have been further remanded until today.
When the case was taken up before Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar comprising Judges Amal Ranaraja, Namal Ballala and Adithya Patabendige, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Priyantha Nawana while making objections to the bail application informed the Court that the medical records submitted by the defendant were insufficient to grant bail to the accused.
However, he informed the Court that a letter had been issued by the Director-General of the Health Services following a request by the AG’s Department to appoint a panel of specialist doctors to observe the medical records submitted by the accused.
Meanwhile, President’s Counsel Shavendra Fernando appearing for former Minister Ravi Karunanayake said that according to the gazette notifications the Central Bank was under the Prime Minister during the period when the bond scam occurred and not under the Finance Minister.
While making objections to the above statement made by Mr. Nawana, President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana appearing on behalf of several accused informed that if the medical records were insufficient to grant bail the Court has to decide the final order, not the panel of specialist doctors.
He further informed that the AG does not have adequate knowledge on the process of issuing bonds and without that knowledge the AG had filed charges against the accused.
“Registered Stocks and Security Ordinance (RSSO) applies when issuing bonds and when governments need money they request Public Debt Department to provide it as a loan. Accordingly, the security is given to the person who lends the money and the bond is issued as security. It belongs to my client,” PC Marapana explained at the Courts. He said that his client had provided Rs. 16 billion to the Government and that the money was with the Central Bank.
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