To the dismay of former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s lawyers plans to support an unprecedented writ application against the Permanent High Court at Bar set up to hear complex financial crimes cases did not materialise after acting President of the Court of Appeal, Deepali Wijesundera decided not to hear cases listed before her today.
Lawyers for Gotabaya Rajapaksa Romesh De Silva PC and Ali Sabry PC faced a double whammy when the case was shunted to a different courtroom to be supported before Justice Samayawardane and Justice Wickremasinghe. Wijesundera was in her chambers but absented herself from sittings today where she was due to preside on a bench which included Justice Arjuna Obeysekere.
However Justice Wickremasinghe the female judge in the second courtroom decided to recuse herself from the case on the basis that she was known to one of the accused.
De Silva PC fresh from his victory in the Supreme Court on Thursday where he made shocking submissions to defend former Navy Commander Admiral Wasthana Karannagoda who was seeking an order to prevent his arrest by the CID, was hoping for a second wind today in CA but seemed disappointed when the case was put off.
Counsel for Gotabaya insisted on supporting their application as early as Monday, even though the AG was having trouble with the date.
Colombo Telegraph learns that Wijesundera has decided she will not hear the case filed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa with allegations swirling ahout her links to the Rajapaksa family and the Constitutional Council rejecting her nomination as Acting President of the Court of Appeal three times.
She will not be on the bench now expected to take up the case early next week.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa is seeking an order to prevent his trial from going ahead in the Permanent High Court where he has been indicted on charges of misappropriating tens of millions in state funds to build a memorial for his dead parents in Medamulana.
Colombo Telegraph learns reliably that the AG was not officially notified before the writ was to be supported today. However officials from the Department were present in court today. Rajapaksa’s lawyers have previously managed to obtain interim orders from upper courts without the AG being noticed and with proceedings being held ex-parte. (By Ramani Bulathgamuwa)