gossip lanka

Namal’s money laundering case: AG told to provide witnesses’ statements

In the case where MP Namal Rajapaksa faces money laundering charges, Colombo High Court Judge Sampath Abeykoon, taking into consideration the Right to Fair Trial, directed the Attorney General to provide the defense with the statements made by witnesses not cited in the indictment.

The Judge made the order in relation to the money laundering case
filed against Namal Rajapaksa, Indika Prabath Karunajeewa, Nithya Senani, Sujani Bogollagama, Iresha Silva and Gowers Cooperates Services over a transition of Rs. 30 million of which the origin is alleged to be illegal.

The Attorney General had cited the list of witnesses who will be testified during the trial at the onset of the filing of the case in the High Court.

However, appearing on behalf of the second suspect, Senior Counsel Sampath Mendis told court that the AG had deliberately disregarded some witnesses’ statements which had been recorded by police at the preliminary inquiry.

He said there are individuals, whose statements could be beneficial for the accused party.

However, State Counsel appearing on behalf of the Attorney General said that the prosecution has already provided the list of the witnesses who are said to be called in the trial.

He said that the other witnesses who gave statements to police are not relevant to the trial as there are limitations to the concept of fair trial and prevailing law should be considered before permitting such opportunity to the defence as there is no provision in law to provide such statements.

He said that there is a comprehensive and complicated inquiry going on and therefore providing other witnesses’ statements to the defence is not practical.

However, citing several precedents, Judge Abeykoon said that the fundamental elements of fair trial should be considered even at this situation as the court is on the quest of finding nothing else but the truth.

Meanwhile, Namal Rajapaksa was permitted to travel to Dubai between December 20 and 31 to participate in a function as the Chief Guest.

The case would be called tomorrow to decide on further trial dates. Two trial dates which are on February 16 and 20 had already been set. (Shehan Chamika Silva)