Nov 21, Colombo: The Special High Court Trial-at-Bar today acquitted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum case and also lifted the overseas travel ban imposed on him.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and six others were charged with misappropriation of Rs.33.9 million in public funds during construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, speaking on behalf of the Attorney General, told the bench that as per Article 35(1) of the Constitution no civil or criminal proceedings can be instituted or continued against the President in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President, either in his official or private capacity. Pointing this out, he requested the court to conclude the case against the President and release the defendant from all charges.
The three-judge bench comprising Justices Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne, accordingly acquitted President Rajapaksa and ordered to lift the overseas travel ban imposed on him and release his passport.
The court also ordered to release the personal sureties placed on behalf of Rajapaksa from their bonds.
The Deputy Solicitor General told the court that the further action that is to be taken against the rest of the defendants will be duly informed at the next hearing of the case.
The Special High Court then ordered the prosecution to inform the court on or before January 9 on the measures to be taken regarding the remaining 6 defendants in the case. The case was postponed until 9th of January.