By Nimanthi Ranasinghe
Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne yesterday ordered the Immigration and Emigration Department Controller General that the signed copies of all documents related to the dual citizenship of the former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa be handed over to the Special Unit of the CID.
The court ordered the Assistant Commissioner of Elections of Hambantota to hand over to CID the copies of all documents of the Medamulana Central College polling centre connected with 2015 presidential election including copies of eligible voters’ list of Weeraketiya Divisional Secretariat related to Mr. Rajapaksa.
The court issued this order considering a motion filed by the CID related to the ongoing trial against the former Defence Secretary for engaging in political activities on a tourist visa and refraining from obtaining dual citizenship effectively. When the court requested the Defence Ministry to hand over the related documents, the Ministry had informed that they did not possess them.
The CID informed that Mr. Rajapaksa had obtained a new passport on ‘Urgent Basis’ on May 17 and had handed over a signed copy of renouncement of his American citizenship. According to that copy, his citizenship had been renounced with effect from April 17, 2019.
The Department further stated that copy had been signed by Chief of the Consular Section of the US Embassy in Sri Lanka Phillip Van Horn and those documents had been confirmed authentic. The department further informed court that based on statements of several officials of the Immigration and Emigration Department, the information in the Department’s ledger and information available in the computer data had appeared contradictory.
The case was set aside by the court granting permission to the commands of the CID until reports are forwarded to the court after concluding the investigations immediately. The complaint which seeks answers to five questions including, whether Mr. Rajapaksa had obtained his new ID and passport legally, was lodged with the IGP by L. N. P. Viyangoda and M. A. S. Thenuwara on August 15.