Trials-at-Bar to hear high profile cases

Published : 9:00 am  August 17, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


 reads | 

Corruption during MR regime

LATE-CITY-DM-1-5By Sandun A Jayasekera

The government is contemplating the setting up of two Trials-at-Bar to hear high profile cases involving top politicians and officials of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, Cabinet spokesman and Minister Rajitha Senaratne said yestereday. 

He said the matter would be referred to the Attorney General for consultations with the Chief Justice.

The minister told the weekly Cabinet news briefing yesterday that the two Trials-at-Bar would hear cases of murder, embezzlement and other financial crimes including fraud and corruption alleged to have been committed during the previous regime.   

“Such crimes involving politicians and officials of the Yahapalana government if any could also be taken up for hearing by these special courts,” the minister said.

He said the Cabinet discussed the inordinate delay in taking up these cases despite the fact that files on 101 completed investigations had been sent to the AG’s Department for legal action. Out of 101, 87 investigations had been completed by the FCID and 14 by the CID. Twenty five case files had been returned because of insufficient evidence.   

The minister said the Cabinet agreed to the setting up of the Trials-at-Bar to accelerate the process of taking legal action against corrupt politicians and officials.  

Responding to journalist on the views expressed by Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapakshe that the Constitution did not allow to appoint special courts to hear cases involving politicians and officials of the Rajapaksa regime, the minister said it could be done within the Constitution by setting up the Trials at Bar.   

“People ask us why we have failed to take action against corrupt politicians of the Rajapaksa regime. But when a female politician allegedly involved in a financial crime gives a statement to the CID, she becomes a ‘Vihara-Maha Devi’. I don’t know what will happen to the real Vihara Mmaha Devi. The police object bail to a person who steals a coconut but nothing happens to those who misappropriated billions of rupees of public money. The cry from the people who voted this government to power is to take action against the rogues of the Rajapaksa regime,” the minister said.