The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that the FCID conducting investigations into the controversial MiG aircraft deal had revealed that former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga had deposited US$ 1.57 million and another Rs.3.04 million of funds in the 18 bank accounts.
Additional Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda appearing on behalf of the Attorney General made this revelation, when the Fundamental Rights petition filed by Udayanga Weeratunga seeking an Interim Order to recall the warrant issued for his arrest by Colombo Fort Magistrate was taken up before the Supreme Court.
ASG Kodagoda further informed Court that the funds had been remitted by overseas entities, especially from Ukraine, Panama and the Mauritius.
On October 20 this year, the Colombo Fort Magistrate issued a warrant written in English through the Interpol for the arrest of Udayanga Weeratunga, a first cousin of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa ,over alleged financial fraud that is alleged to have taken place in procuring seven MiG-27 ground attack crafts for the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLFA).
Udayanga Weeratunga had filed this petition through his mother-in-law Latha Indrani, the power of attorney holder of the petitioner.
In his petition, Weeratunga stated that he is currently residing in Mekhanizatoriv Street Kyiv,Ukraine.
The petitioner further sought an Interim Order restraining the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank from suspending the petitioner’s bank accounts and continuing to suspend the bank accounts.
The petitioner stated that the seventh respondent, a Chief Inspector of the FCID had moved the Magistrate’s Court for a warrant for the arrest of the petitioner. The petitioner sought a declaration from the Court that the Chief Inspector infringed the petitioner’s Fundamental Rights guaranteed in terms of Articles 11, 12(1) and 13 of the constitution.
The petitioner further said the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank has infringed his Fundamental Rights guaranteed in the constitution by the purported decision to suspend and suspension of debit transaction of the bank accounts of the petitioner in contravention of the provisions of the Financial Transaction Reporting Act No. 6 of 2006.
In his complaint to the FCID, journalist Iqbal Athas stated that he had written several articles regarding the financial irregularities that had taken place in procuring four Mig-27 aircraft at a higher price. He told the police that these ground attack aircraft had been manufactured between 1980 and 1983. He said financial irregularities had taken place during the transaction between Sri Lank and Ukraine.
President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva appeared for the petitioner.