PCoI probing Treasury Bonds issue concedes Cannot compel Aloysius to give evidence

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By 2017-09-14

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas

Perpetual Treasuries boss Arjun Aloysius may not give evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the alleged bonds scam.

The Commission yesterday conceded that it cannot 'compel' Aloysius to give evidence if he's unwilling to do so. This was in response to objections raised, on Monday (11), by President's Counsel Gamini Marapana, appearing for Aloysius.
Marapana objected to his client providing evidence before the Commission on the grounds that Aloysius cannot be compelled to give evidence implicating himself.

Justice K.T. Chitrasiri, Chairperson of the Commission, reading out the nine-page order, noted, "while Mr. Aloysius is a competent witness, he is not, in our view, a compellable witness if he states that he is unwilling or refuses to give evidence for the reasons referred to by Mr. Marapana, PC."

Accordingly, the Commission pointed out that Aloysius' evidence is relevant and material, because Aloysius has to be given an opportunity to explain the matters, the evidence that surfaced and other concerns of the Commission.

Commissioner Justice Chitrasiri also noted that if the witness is unwilling to provide evidence, the Commission will be duty bound to act in terms of the rule of the law and refrain from compelling Aloysius into giving evidence and thus, will proceed on the basis of the evidence the Commission has collected.

Following the conclusion of the order, Marapana thanked the Commission for considering his objection and made note of his client's unwillingness to give evidence. Upon which Justice Prasanna Jayawardene inquired from Counsel whether that decision is a result of 'clear perusal of the order'.

Marapana then responded to the Commissioner claiming that he will need time until next Monday to go through the order and its content. However, he later claimed that his client's final decision will be delivered to the Commission today.

Acting Solicitor General Dappula de Livera, PC noted that he and his team will consult the Attorney General on the matter as well.

The Commission also noted that, based on evidence collected from 50 witnesses, including approximately 20 witnesses from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, officials of the Employees Provident Fund, Pan Asia Banking Corporation, Bank of Ceylon, witnesses from other Primary Dealers, officers from the Treasury and Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd. and the large number of documents and audio recordings, it is required that Aloysius gives evidence before the Commission. Among the reasons mentioned are:

• The reasons for PTL bidding for large amounts of Treasury Bonds at some auctions of Treasury Bonds

• Transactions on the secondary market of Treasury Bonds which PTL obtained by successful bids at auctions of Treasury bonds

• The dealings and relationship which existed between officers of PTL and some officers of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

• The dealings and relationship which existed between officers of PTL and some officers of the EPF, Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and some other Primary Dealers

• Whether PTL was in possession of information relevant to auctions of Treasury Bonds which was not available to other Primary Dealers

• The profits and/ or capital gains received by PTL as the result of the aforesaid transactions on Treasury Bonds and the disposal of these profits and/ or capitals gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments.
Additionally, the Commission requires Aloysius to give evidence with regard to several matters which are directly within his personal knowledge including:

• The ownership, control and structure of the group of Companies of which PTL is a member

• The role played by Aloysius in applying for and obtaining a Primary Dealer's Licence from the CBSL

• The role played by Aloysius in preparing the business plan of PTL which was submitted to CBSL at the time PTL applied for a Primary Dealer's Licence and the subsequent business models followed by PTL

• The role played by Aloysius in the day to day operations of PTL while he was Chief Executive of that Company

• The reasons for Aloysius resigning from the post of CEO of PTL

• The role played by Aloysius in the day to day operations of PTL after he resigned from the post of CEO of the Company

• The profits and/ or capital gains received by PTL and the disposal of these profits and/ or capital gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments

• The audio recordings of telephone conversations which are said to have taken place between Aloysius, Kasun Palisena – current CEO of PTL – with regard to auction of Treasury Bonds held in March 2016 and the matters discussed therein including the information which Aloysius is said to have claimed, he possessed with regard to those auctions

• The role played by Aloysius with regard to the fine imposed by the CBSL on PTL in April 2016 after the aforesaid auctions

• The nature of the relationship between Aloysius and some officers of CBSL

• The nature of relationship between Aloysius and Arjuna Mahendran, the previous Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka

• The nature of the relationship between Aloysius and some officers of the EPF including Saman Kumara and Navin Anuradha

• The nature of relationship between Aloysius and Nimal Perera, the previous Chairperson of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and the resulting transactions on Treasury Bonds entered into by Pan Asia Banking Corporation

• The reasons for Aloysius telephoning Richie Dias of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC during the period when Dias was furnishing his statement to the Commission

• The reasons for Aloysius leasing an apartment which was occupied by former Minister Ravi Karunanayake and family.

 The Mandate issued to this Commission of Inquiry by His Excellency, the President requires this Commission of Inquiry to investigate, inquire into and report on the several matters specified in the Mandate. This requires the Commission of Inquiry, inter alia, to investigate, inquire into and report on several transactions relating to Treasury Bonds which took place during the relevant period. Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd was a party to many of these transactions.

Mr. Arjun Aloysius is said to be a principal shareholder and a director of the ultimate owning Company of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd. Mr. Aloysius is said to have been the Chief Executive/Managing Director of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd until early 2015. He is said to have exercised a significant degree of control over Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd, after that time too and during the period referred to in the Mandate issued to us.

During the course of the hearings of this Commission of Inquiry in pursuance of this Mandate, Mr. Kalinga Indatissa, PC entered an appearance for Mr. Aloysius and stated that he was doing so under the provisions of Section 16 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act. Sometime later, Mr. Indatissa informed the Commission of Inquiry that he had ceased to appear for Mr. Aloysius. Thereafter, Mr. Anuja Premaratne, PC appeared for Mr. Aloysius, also under the provisions of Section 16 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

Up to now, the Commission of Inquiry has heard the evidence of 50 witnesses. These witnesses include approximately 20 witnesses from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, officials of the Employees Provident Fund including Mr. Saman Kumara who functioned as a dealer at the Employees Provident Fund, the Chief Dealer/Treasury Manger of Pan Asia Banking Corporation, the Chief Dealer/Treasury Manager of Bank of Ceylon, witnesses from Companies which functioned as Primary Dealers, officials from the Treasury and three officers of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd. A very large number of documents have been produced.

The evidence that is now before us, by way of the testimony of witnesses, documents and several audio recordings, has made it desirable that the Commission of Inquiry requires Mr. Aloysius to give evidence with regard to several matters relating to Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd including, inter alia: (i) the reasons for Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd bidding for large amounts of Treasury Bonds at some Auctions of Treasury Bonds; (ii) transactions on the Secondary Market of Treasury Bonds which Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd obtained by successful bids at Auctions of Treasury Bonds; (iii) the dealings and relationship which existed between officers of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and some officers of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (iv) the dealings and relationship which existed between officers of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and some officers of the Employees Provident Fund, Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and some other Primary Dealers; (v) whether Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd was in possession of information relevant to Auctions of Treasury Bonds which was not available to other Primary Dealers; and (vi) the profits and/or capital gains received by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd as the result of the aforesaid transactions on Treasury Bonds and the disposal of these profits and/or capital gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments.

In addition, the evidence that is now before us, by way of the testimony of witnesses, documents and several audio recordings, has made it desirable that the Commission of Inquiry requires Mr. Aloysius to give evidence with regard to several matters which are directly within his personal knowledge, including, inter alia: (i) (the ownership, control and structure of the group of Companies of which Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd is a member; (ii) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in applying for and obtaining a Primary Dealer's License from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (iii) the role played by

Mr. Aloysius in preparing the Business Plan of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd which was submitted to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka at the time Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd applied for a Primary Dealer's License and the subsequent Business Models followed by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd; (iv) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in the day to day operations of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd while he was the Chief Executive of that Company; (v) the reason for Mr. Aloysius resigning from the post of Chief Executive of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd; (vi) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in the day to day operations of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd after he resigned from the post of Chief Executive of that Company; (vii) the profits and/or capital gains received by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and the disposal of these profits and/or capital gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments; (viii) the audio recordings of telephone conversations which are said to have taken place between Mr. Aloysius and Mr. Kasun Palisena with regard to Auctions of Treasury Bonds held in March 2016 and the matters discussed therein including the information which Mr. Aloysius is said to have claimed, he possessed with regard to those Auctions; (ix) the role played by Mr. Aloysius with regard to the Fine imposed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd in April 2016 after the aforesaid Auctions; (x) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and some officers of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (xi) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and

Mr. Arjuna Mahendran, the previous Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (xii) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and some officers of the Employees Provident Fund including Mr. Saman Kumara and Mr. Navin Anuradha; (xiii) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and Mr. Nimal Perera, the previous Chairman of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and the resulting transactions on Treasury Bonds entered into by Pan Asia Banking Corporation; (xiv) the reasons for Mr. Aloysius telephoning Mr. Richie Dias of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC during the period when Mr. Dias was furnishing his statement to the Commission of Inquiry; and (xv) the reasons for Mr. Aloysius leasing an apartment which was occupied by Mr. Ravi Karunanayake and family.

We are of the view that,

Mr. Aloysius is in a position to provide valuable and relevant evidence to the Commission of Inquiry with regard to the aforesaid matters and other matters falling within the scope of the investigation and inquiry required by the Mandate issued to the Commission of Inquiry.

We are also of the view that, Mr. Aloysius should be given the opportunity to provide his explanations and clarifications and other responses with regard to several of the aforesaid matters which have transpired from the evidence that is now before us by way of the testimony of witnesses, documents and several audio recordings.

For the aforesaid reasons, on 11 September 2017, the Commission of Inquiry issued Summons, under and in terms of Section 7 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, requiring Mr. Aloysius to give evidence today.

On 11 September 2017 Mr. Gamini Marapana, PC appeared for Mr. Aloysius and submitted that his client objects to giving evidence before the Commission of Inquiry. Mr. Marapana cited to us Article 13(3) and Article 13(5) of the Constitution and emphasized that every person is entitled to a fair trial by a competent Court and that every person is presumed innocent until he is proved guilty. Mr. Marapana stressed on the power given to the Commission of Inquiry by Section 7(2) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act to make recommendations with regard to action that it considers necessary to be taken against persons whose conduct is the subject of the inquiry of investigation or who is in any way implicated or concerned in the matter which this Commission of Inquiry is investigating and inquiring into. Mr. Marapana also voiced concerns with regard to the provisions of Section 24 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act which empower the Hon. Attorney General to institute criminal proceedings in respect of any offence on material collected in the course of the investigation and inquiry carried out by this Commission of Inquiry.

Thereafter, Mr. Marapana, PC submitted that, it is a fundamental provision of our Law that, an accused person cannot be made to incriminate himself. He submitted that, it is a guiding principle of the Law of Evidence that, every person is protected from self-incrimination. In support of this submission, Mr. Marapana cited the judgment of Gratiaen J in De Mel vs Haniffa (53 NLR 433), the judgment of Jayetilleke J in Karunatilleke vs Ameen (44 NLR 213) and also mentioned the Miranda Rule enunciated by the US Supreme Court in Miranda vs. State of Arizona, which includes the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions.Thereafter, Mr. Marapana, PC stated that, in the event his client is compelled to give evidence, it may well be that evidence is elicited from his client which may tend to incriminate him and that his client has received legal advice to the effect that it is not in his interests to give evidence. In this connection, Mr. Marapana went on to state that, there is every possibility of a charge or indictment being made against his client subsequent to giving evidence. Mr. Marapana submitted that compelling his client to give evidence may prejudice his client's right to a fair trial in the event of him being prosecuted for an offence or offences.

Mr. Marapana concluded that, in these circumstances, his client is unwilling to give evidence and that, as a matter of Law; his client cannot be compelled to give evidence against his wishes.

Mr. Marapana, PC submitted that, by operation of the aforesaid established principle of the Law, a person who is accused of an offence cannot be compelled to give evidence, and that therefore, this Commission of Inquiry should not compel Mr. Arjun Aloysius to give evidence.

In support of his submissions, Mr. Marapana, PC also cited the decision of the Supreme Court in Cooray vs Dias Bandaranaike (1999 1 SLR 1) in which the Supreme Court quashed several determinations made by a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed under the Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry Law No. 07 of 1978. As Mr. Marapana submitted, in this case, His Lordship, Justice Dheeraratne highlighted the duty cast on the members of a Commission of Inquiry to act in a manner which will bring to bear such legal training and judicial experience as the members of a Commission of Inquiry may possess and to act, in the words of Edmund Burke, "with the cold neutrality of an impartial judge" and fairly.

In reply, Mr. Dappula De Livera, PC, Acting Solicitor General, highlighted the fact that, this Commission of Inquiry has been appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948 unlike the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry in Cooray vs Dias Bandaranaike which had been appointed under the Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry Law No. 07 of 1978. Mr. De Livera drew our attention to the significant difference in Section 16 of the Special Presidential Commissions of Inquiry Law No. 07 of 1978 which, inter alia, provides for a Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry to inform a person that, the conduct of that person is the subject of inquiry or is implicated or concerned in the matter under inquiry and, on the other hand, Section 16 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948 under which this Commission of Inquiry has been appointed, which does not contain a similar provision enabling or requiring this Commission of Inquiry to inform any person that the conduct of that person is the subject of inquiry or is implicated or concerned in the matter under inquiry.

Mr. De LIvera, PC submitted that, the proceedings before this Commission of Inquiry are inquisitorial in character and, therefore, different from proceedings in a criminal case which are accusatorial and adversarial in character, Mr. De Livera submitted that, this Commission of Inquiry can ony report on the facts and cannot convict any person of an offence. He emphasized that Mr. Aloysius may be convicted in criminal proceedings only in the event of an appropriate case being filed against him in respect of an offence in some other proceeding in a Court of Law and not before this Commission of Inquiry. He submitted that, for these reasons, the principle of law that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence, has no applicability before this Commission of Inquiry.

Mr. De Livera, PC submitted that, Section 7 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act vests this Commission of Inquiry with ample power to summon Mr. Aloysius to give evidence and to require and compel him to give evidence.

Mr. De Livera, PC forcefully urged that, Mr. Aloysius was a necessary witness and that this Commission of Inquiry must compel him to give evidence if we are to fully discharge and fulfil our Mandate.

We have given careful consideration to the submissions made by Mr. Marapana, PC and Mr. De Livera, PC, Acting Solicitor General.

At the outset, we wish to place on record that, this Commission of Inquiry has, from its commencement, endeavoured to be mindful of the duty cast on us, in the words of his Lordship, Justice Dheeraratne in Cooray vs Dias Bandaranaike, to act "fairly" and "with the cold neutrality of an impartial judge." We would add that, it is implicit that we have a duty to act equitably. Further, throughout these proceedings, we have endeavoured to stay within the confines of the Law. In making this Order, we intend to continue in the same vein.

We are mindful of the established rule of the Criminal Law that, an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence. While an accused can choose to give evidence on his own behalf, the Law prohibits him being compelled to give evidence. This rule derives from Section 4 of the Ordinance No. 09 of 1852 of the English Law which stated that, "no accused person shall be competent or compelled to give evidence for or against himself." The rule is partly reflected in Section 120 (6) of our Evidence Ordinance which states that, "In criminal trials the accused shall be a competent witness on his own behalf...." (emphasis added) the resulting position is that, the English Law rule that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence, prevails in our Law too, by operation of Section 100 of the Evidence Ordinance.

Thus, in our Law, it has been the ruled from 1904 onwards, as held in Simon Appuhamy vs Rowell Appu (1904 1 Bal. R 44) that, an accused person cannot be compelled to give evidence on his own behalf. In King vs Thuriappa (8 NLR 7) it was held that, a Judge cannot act under Section 120 of the Evidence Ordinance and force an accused into the witness box. In the case of Karunatilleke vs Ameen cited by Mr. Marapana, PC, Jayetilleke J referring to Section 120 (6) of the Evidence Ordinance stated, "This Sub-section did not alter the Common Law rule that an accused person cannot, in a criminal case, be called as a witness by the prosecution or by a co-accused. Indeed, it may even be said that the Sub-section by specifying the case in which an accused person shall be competent to testify impliedly enacted that he shall in all other cases be incompetent to testify. It seems to me quite impossible to take any other view on any proper principle of construction." In De Mel vs. Haniffa, which was also cited by Mr. Marapana, Gratiaen J held: "As I have previously stated, an accused person in Ceylon stands in the same position as an accused person in England with regard to his non-compellability as a witness against himself." As stated in Phipson on Evidence (16 ed. P. 222),"A person charged in criminal proceedings is a competent witness for the defence at every stage of those proceedings, but is not competent to give evidence for the prosecution in those proceedings (whether he is the only person, or is one of two or more persons, charged in the proceedings). Such a person cannot be called as a witness except upon his own application, though in certain circumstances inferences may be drawn from his refusal to give evidence in his own defence.

However, the fact that such inferences may be drawn does not render a defendant compellable to give evidence on his own behalf, and he shall accordingly not be guilty of contempt if he refuses to give evidence in his own defence." As stated in Cross on Evidence (6 ed. At p. 194), "The general rule is that the accused is not a competent witness for the prosecution in any criminal cases.... In R. vs Grant and R. vs Sharrock committals were quashed because one co-prisoner had been called on behalf of the prosecution at the preliminary examination. In so far as these cases decided that an indictment based on inadmissible evidence is necessarily bad, they have been overruled, but they still serve as a warning to overzealous prosecutors."

As the rule that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence is well established and must be followed, the remaining question is whether that rule can or should be applied to the proceedings before this Commission of Inquiry which are not criminal in character. Instead, as Mr. De Livera, PC cogently emphasized, the proceedings before this Commission of Inquiry are of a fact finding character.

In order to determine whether, despite this Commission of Inquiry being engaged in a fact finding exercise, we should consider whether the rule that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence, ought to be applied to Mr. Arjun Aloysius, we must examine Section 16 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act in terms of which Mr. Marapana, PC appears for Mr. Aloysius.

Section 16 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act envisages three categories of persons namely, (i) persons who are implicated in the matter under inquiry; (ii) persons who are concerned in the matter under inquiry; and (iii) persons who consider it desirable that they should be represented.

The submissions made by Mr. Marapana, PC that his client might incriminate himself if he is compelled to give evidence and that there is every possibility of a charge or indictment being made against his client in the event of and subsequent to his client giving e3vidence, lead us to conclude that, Mr. Aloysius must consider himself as a person who is "implicated in" the mater under inquiry, as contemplated by Section 16.

Mr. Marapana, PC has gone on to state that, as a result of the aforesaid position, his client has received legal advice that it is not in his client's interests to give evidence and that, in these circumstances, his client is unwilling to give evidence.

In those circumstances, we are obliged to be mindful of the possibility that, in the event Mr. Aloysius is compelled by this Commission of Inquiry to give evidence and his evidence is taken into consideration at the stage of preparing the report of this Commission of Inquiry, a question will arise as to whether or not any recommendation which may be made under Section 7 (2) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act to take action against Mr. Aloysius and/or any proceedings that may be instituted by the Hon. Attorney-General in pursuance of Section 24 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, had its origins, at least partly, upon evidence which Mr. Aloysius was compelled to give.

If the answer to such a question is in the affirmative – i.e.: that the evidence which Mr. Aloysius was compelled to give by this Commission of Inquiry resulted in him being prosecuted for one or more criminal offences – this Commission of Inquiry would have acted in disregard of the established and well founded rule of Law that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence. We do not consider it fitting to depart from this rule of the Law by adopting the somewhat artificial device of compartmentalizing these proceedings from a criminal prosecution which may ensue and which, apparently, Mr. Aloysius considers likely to ensue. If this Commission of Inquiry were to engage in such an exercise of tortuous compartmentalizing and compel Mr. Aloysius to give evidence against his wishes, instead of this Commission of Inquiry acting with "cold neutrality" and fairness and applying the aforesaid well founded rule of the Law in spirit and as well as in practice, we may tempt a charge that all those who were responsible for compelling Mr. Aloysius to give evidence against his wishes and against the advice of his Counsel, were "overzealous", in the words of Sir Rupert Cross, cited earlier.

We are mindful of the effect of Section 132(2) of the Evidence Ordinance which specifies that, no answer which a witness is compelled by a Court to give shall subject him to any arrest or prosecution or be proved against him in any criminal proceedings, except a prosecution for giving false evidence and also of the provisions of Section 14 of the Commission of Inquiry Act which bears the side note "Special immunity of witnesses" and provides that no person shall be liable to any action, prosecution or other proceedings in any Civil and Criminal Court in respect of evidence given before this Commission of Inquiry other than in respect of offences falling under Chapter XI of the Penal Code – i.e.: Offences of giving False Evidence and Offences against Public Justice.

We are, in particular, conscious of Justice Dheeraratne's statement in Cooray vs. Dias Bandaranaike, with regard to the Commissions of Inquiry Act No. 17 of 1948 under which this Commission of Inquiry was established, that, ".... it is interesting to reflect upon how great Judges of this Court, injected into Commission proceedings a degree of fairness, particularly before labelling a person as a criminal. They were quite conscious, being public functionaries on whom enormous powers were vested by law, of the fact that 'it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant' (Measure for Measure)."
In these circumstances, we are not inclined to compel Mr. Aloysius to give evidence if he is unwilling or refuses to do so. While Mr. Aloysius is a competent witness, he is not, in our view, a compellable witness if he states that he is unwilling or refuses to give evidence for the reasons referred to by Mr. Marapana, PC.

While we fully appreciate and agree with Mr. De Livera's submission that, Mr. Aloysius is a necessary witness and that Mr. Aloysius should give evidence to facilitate this Commission of Inquiry fully discharging and fulfilling our Mandate, we are not willing to depart from established and salutary principles of Law in the pursuit of our efforts and commitment to achieve our Mandate. If Mr. Aloysius is unwilling or refuses to give evidence and does not wish to utilize the opportunity given to him to explain and clarify and give his responses to the matters referred to above and other concerns of this Commission of Inquiry, we will be compelled to proceed on the basis of the evidence we have.

We wish to emphasize that, while this Commission of Inquiry is committed to fulfilling and discharging our Mandate, we are duty bound to act lawfully when doing so. The Rule of Law must take precedence over any considerations of public interest.

In conclusion, we wish to make it plainly clear that, in our view, Mr. Aloysius is required to give evidence. This Commission of Inquiry considers that this evidence is relevant and material and also that, we should give him the opportunity to explain the matters referred to above and other concerns of this Commission of Inquiry. We have, therefore, summoned him to appear before us today and give evidence.

Therefore, Mr. Aloysius is hereby directed to appear before us in response to the Summons served on him and to give evidence today or on such other day or days as this Commission of Inquiry may fix.

However, if Mr. Aloysius is unwilling or refuses to give evidence, his Counsel is entitled, at that stage, to make an application to the effect that, his client is unwilling or refuses to give evidence and that, therefore, on an application, mutatis mutandis, of the rule of the Law that an accused cannot be compelled to give evidence, which Mr. Marapana, PC has relied on when he took that same objection, Mr. Aloysius must not be compelled to give evidence. In the event, Counsel for Mr. Aloysius chooses to make such an application, we will be duty bound to act in terms of that rule of the Law and refrain from compelling Mr. Aloysius to give evidence.

Justice K.T. Chitrasiri
Chairman
Commission of Inquiry

Justice Prasanna Jayawardena
Member

Mr. K. Velupillai
Member

S. Udugamasuriya
Secretary

Presidential Commission to Investigate and Inquire into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds
No. 94, Adhikarana Mawatha, Colombo 12.

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