Court extends Stay Order on Gota case

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By 2017-12-16

By Kavindya Perera

The Stay Order issued by the Court of Appeal on the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) preventing any action being taken against former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the misappropriation of public funds amounting to Rs 90 million for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum at Weeraketiya was extended till 25 January 2018, yesterday (15).
The Court of Appeal bench comprising the Court's President Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Guneratne having considered a writ application filed by Rajapaksa issued the order yesterday.
When the petition was previously called on
6 December it was extended till 15 December.

During yesterday's hearing, senior attorney Viraj Dayaratne appearing for the Attorney General (AG) requested the Court not to extend the stay order any further.
He said that the reasons behind the submission of this petition had first been reported to a Magistrate's Court on 13 May 2015 and that the writ petition related to the case had only been filed two years afterwards. Dayaratne told the Court that therefore the Stay Order should not be extended further.

However, President's Counsel (PC) Romesh de Silva appearing for the petitioner told the Court that there were alleged attempts made to imprison his client and that the alleged misappropriation of funds had already been paid.
Romesh de Silva PC told the Court on 28 November that the FCID was making attempts to arrest his client citing, the aforementioned charges and that a certificate from an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) had been submitted to a Magistrate's Court based on the Offences against Public Property Act.

He further affirmed that this was entirely a civil transaction.
Romesh de Silva PC said that an ASP certificate had been submitted based on the aforementioned Act with the aim of remanding his client with no recourse to bail.

Petitioner Gotabaya Rajapaksa has cited the Inspector General of Police, the Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Senior Deputy Inspector General of the FCID, the ASP of the FCID and the AG as respondents in his petition.
The petitioner has pointed out that the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum had been built at Weeraketiya following an agreement reached between the D.A. Rajapaksa Foundation and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and only a sum of Rs 33 million had been spent on the construction.



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