Mar 15, Colombo: The Special High Court has granted permission for former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to travel overseas for a two-week period from March 26 to April 12.
The three-judge bench of justices Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratna granted a request made by the defendant when the case on DA Rajapakse Museum misappropriation of public funds was called today (15).
Attorneys representing Gotabaya Rajapaksa informed the court that their client requires to travel overseas from March 26 to April 12 and therefore requested the court to relax the overseas travel ban temporarily.
Accordingly, the court granted Gotabhaya Rajapaksa permission to go overseas and ordered to release his passport, which is in court custody.
President's Counsel Anil De Silva and Kalinga Indatissa, appearing on behalf of several defendants of the case, raising fundamental objections said the charges filed against their clients were contrary to the Criminal Procedure Code. Therefore, they requested the Court to issue a verdict that the charges could not be maintained.
The three-member High Court bench postponed the case until March 28th and ordered that the attorney general's stand should be submitted on that preliminary objection on that day.
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.
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.