President Maithripala Sirisena is sitting on the long-anticipated arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and the former Secretary, Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Colombo Telegraph learns.
The Attorney General in an unusual move has sought the approval of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayaka to arrest Gotabaya Rajapaksa over allegations of misappropriating public funds to the tune of Rs 91 million for the construction of memorials for his parents.
While it is questionable as to why the AG’s Department requires permission from anyone to prosecute Gotabaya, there’s also the question as to why the Department picked this relatively smaller infringement and not the MiG deal which is a far more serious infringement considering the money involved.
Wickremesinghe and Ratnayaka, prior to leaving for India, are reported to have distanced themselves from the entire process, informing the AG that it is not their business to advise him on such matters.
Colombo Telegraph learns that the delay in prosecution of this as well as other cases involving Gotabaya is solely due to President Sirisena not giving the green light sought from him by the AG, once again not a requirement for prosecution.
On 15th November, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayaka made a detailed presentation to the UNP Working Committee on the current status of the bribery and corruption investigations.
Ratnayaka, in his presentation said that the Police Financial Crimes Investigations Division had forwarded 92 files to the Attorney General’s Department upon completion of investigations. He added that indictments have only been filed with regard to 13 cases.
The Law and Order Minister said the CID had investigated 38 cases out of which 14 deal with individuals and 24 relate to property matters. Out of the 14 which deals with high profile individuals only 6 had been indicted.
This was in response to the President’s allegation that Sagala was delaying prosecutions.