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Gota’s lawyers say it’s his money found in President’s House

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Lawyers representing former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa made a request from the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court yesterday (8) to release the sum of Rs. 17.85 million which was found at the President’s House in Colombo by the protestors on 9 July 2022.

Attorney-at-Law Harigupta Rohanadeera represented Mr. Rajapaksa.

However, Magistrate Thilina Gamage denied the request stating that it is the responsibility of the court to make an inquiry before making an order regarding the relevant stock of money and that there is a possibility of investigating the money under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act as well as the Bribery Act.

The officials of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed the court that they recorded a statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on February 6 over Rs. 17.85 million which was found at room no: 4 of the President’s House on July 9, 2022.

Mr.  Rohanadeera  said, “In the statement given, the former president said that the amount belonged to him. So far, no other party has come forward to claim the money. Accordingly, if the court is satisfied with the statement he has given, the money is requested to be released to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa.”

The Magistrate said former President Rajapaksa has stated that this amount has been kept to give to the people whose property was damaged during the violent incidents on May 9 last year.

Speaking in the court on behalf of the aggrieved parties, President’s Counsel (PC) Rienzie Arsecularatne informed the court that the relevant sum of money should be investigated under the Bribery Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

“Mr. Rajapaksa has humiliated the court. He asks for money without even visiting the court. The former president tried to get hold of this money by indirect means by contacting Public Security Minister Tiran Alles and Senior DIG Deshabandu Tennakoon. If this money is his, Mr. Rajapaksa should come to the court and make the request,’ he said.

The Magistrate said that the investigation regarding this amount has not been completed yet and therefore, it is not possible to release it even if no other party has come forward claiming the money in question.

Source – Aruna

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278 prison inmates to be pardoned

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A total of 278 inmates at prisons across the island will be released tomorrow in view of Vesak festival, the Prisons Department said.

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Parliament suspended due to lack of quorum

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Parliament sessions were abruptly suspended until June 04 due to a lack of quorum. 

There were less than 20 member present during the time of suspension. 

MP Jagath Samarawickrama was at the Chair.

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Notice for students sitting for Grade 5 scholarships

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The Department of Examinations has announced that the 2024 Grade Five Scholarship Examination will be held on September 15 this year.

It adds that applications for the examination will be accepted online from May 27 – June 14, 2024 and acceptance of applications will not be extended beyond the announced period.

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