June 18, Colombo: The Court of Appeal Tuesday rejected a revision application and writ petition filed by former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa requesting the nullification of an order given by the three-member Special High Court.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa has sought the Appeals Court to issue an order to void the verdict of the Permanent High Court at Bar and to suspend the hearing of the case on misappropriation of funds when constructing the D A Rajapakse memorial museum until the final decision on the petition is delivered.
Appeal Court Judge Sachala Wennapuli and Arjuna Obeysekera issued the order when the petition was called for consideration today.
When the petitions were considered previously, Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana who appeared for the Attorney General's Department and Deputy Solicitor General Milinda Gunatilake raised a preliminary objection that the Appeal Court had no jurisdiction to hear these petitions and requested that it be dismissed without hearing.
The Court of Appeal has accepted the initial objection and decided to dismiss the writ petition and the revision petition filed by Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The Attorney General filed charges against seven defendants including former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, accusing him of misappropriating state funds amounting to nearly Rs. 34 million to construct the DA Rajapaksa Commemorative Museum at Weeraketiya in Medamulana.
The former Defense Secretary raised preliminary objections through his counsel that the Colombo Permanent High Court-at-Bar does not have jurisdiction to hear the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case since the court, which was established under the Judicature (Amendment) Act, is only authorized to hear cases pertaining to serious economic and financial crimes, and as this case does not fall into the aforementioned category.
In addition to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the other respondents in the case are former Chairman of the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation Prasad Harshana de Silva and members of the Board of Directors Bhadrawati Kamaladasa, Sudhammika Attygalle, Saman Kumara Galappathi, D. Mendis Saliya and Mallika Kumari Senadheera.
The seven accused had been charged under Section 5(1) of the Public Property Act and Section 388 of the Penal Code, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and the Public Property Act.