Daily Mirror - Print Edition

Bribery Commission commences probe into money recovered inside President’s house

01 Apr 2023 - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}      

  • Fmr President Gotabaya  through his lawyer claimed his rights for the amount of Rs. 17.85Mn

By Lakmal Sooriyagoda  

The Bribery Commission yesterday informed Colombo Fort  Magistrate that it has already commenced a preliminary inquiry into the  sum of Rs. 17.85 million recovered from the President’s House on July  9, 2022.  
The Bribery Commission informed Court that it commenced an  investigation into the incident pursuant to a complaint lodged by  Puravesi Balaya Organisation. Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage  directed the Bribery Commission that the progress of the investigation  be informed to the court on the next hearing date.  

The Court had earlier issued a notice directing the  Director General of Bribery Commission to appear in court on March 31 to  inquire whether a sum of Rs. 17.85 million recovered from the  President’s House on 9th July, 2022 would come under the offences  relating to the Bribery Act.   
On a previous occasion, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa  through his lawyer claimed his rights for the amount of Rs. 17.85  million recovered from the President’s House.   
However, defence counsel raised objections for releasing  said amount to the former President and said prosecution has to  ascertain whether there are offences committed under Money Laundering  Act and Bribery Act.   
In their further report CID said they had recorded a  statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on February 6 regarding ongoing investigations into the sum of Rs. 17.8 Million  recovered by protesters inside the President’s House.  

 According to the former President’s statement, he has  stated that money found inside the President’s Office had belonged to  him but he was unable to take care of them due to the prevailing security  situation on that occasion. He has told police the sum of money that  belonged to him was to be distributed among the people whose houses were  destroyed by the protesters.  

Further magisterial inquiry fixed for May 3. Defence  Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne PC with Maithri Gunaratne PC and Counsel  Udara Muhandiramge appeared for the suspects in the case.