Feb 02, Colombo: The Colombo High Court today rejected a petition filed by the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to release him and seven other dependents from the charges filed by the bribery Commission over the floating armory of the Avant Garde Maritime Services.
Colombo High Court Judge, Sampath Wijeratne after consideration of the petition filed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa rejected it without further hearing.
The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption on September 01, 2016 filed charges at the Colombo Magistrate's Court against Chairman of controversial Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd Nissanka Senadhipathi and seven others including the former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and three former navy commanders Somathilaka Dissanayake, Jayanath Colombage and Jayantha Perera.
The defendants are accused of causing a financial loss to the tune of 11.4 billion rupees to the Government by paving the way for the operation of a floating armory by the Avant Garde Maritime Services.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, in his petition to the Colombo High Court, stated that the Director General of Bribery Commission had not obtained a written approval from the Commission before taking legal action against him and the other suspects.
Therefore he has raised preliminary objections at the Colombo Magistrate Court against the Commission's charges but the court has rejected his objections and the magistrate's decision to reject his preliminary objections was illegal.
Attorneys representing the former Defense Secretary had filed a revised petition with the High Court seeking a court order clearing all defendants of the charges.
Issuing his decision regarding the revision petition, Colombo High Court judge Sampath Wijeratne said that there was no clear legal provision making it mandatory for the Director General to submit written permission of the commission to court before filing charges.
Therefore, the High Court Judge noted that the defendants had not been seriously affected by the decision of the lower court Magistrate and the revision petition will be rejected without further examination.