Oct 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) is to seek legal advice on seeking a reversal in the Supreme Court verdict on the controversial Helping Hambantota case.
Following the recent claim by the controversial former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva that had not been for him the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa would not have been President now, the opposition has decided to seek a re-investigation.
UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake has told the media today that the party's parliamentary group has decided to try and seek a reversal in the Supreme Court directive following legal consultations.
He has said the party wanted to get the verdict reversed without creating a huge crisis and the party's legal advisers were studying the case to see if there had been any previous reversals given in similar cases.
The former Chief Justice has said that had he and the Supreme Court headed by him not ruled in Rajapaksa's favor in the Helping Hambantota case, Rajapaksa would not have been able to contest the Presidential poll of 2005.
In the Helping Hambantota case then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was accused of misappropriating tsunami funds by depositing them in an account in a private bank.
UNP parliamentarian Kabir Hashim filed a case in 2005 against the alleged fraud committed in collecting funds following the 2004 tsunami through the Helping Hambantota Fund set up by Rajapaksa in violation of presidential directives.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Sarath Silva in ordered Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to temporarily halt the investigation into the fraud after considering a petition by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.
The Court in 2006 decided that there was no misappropriation of funds and proper compliance was observed with the disbursement of funds managed by the then prime Minister's and current President's Secretary Lalith Weeratunga.