Case against Ranatunga postponed again | Daily News

Case against Ranatunga postponed again

The case filed against Gampaha District Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife was yesterday postponed for trial by the Colombo High Court for the sixth consecutive occasion.

When the case came up before Colombo Chief High Court Judge Manilal Waidyatilleke, the Court re-fixed the case for the trial to be heard on March 12 since the defence counsel sought a new trial date citing that he has assigned time for another court case.

However, both the defence and prosecution did not object to a new trial date.

The Attorney General (AG) had filed indictments against former Western Province Chief Minister Prasanna Ranatunga, his wife Maureen Ranatunga and another person on the charge of threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs. 64 million.

When the case was taken up for trial yesterday, the key witnesses, the virtual complainant and his wife were present in court. The first and second witnesses were advised to appear in court on the next trial date.

On a previous occasion, the Colombo High Court decided to proceed the trial against Gampaha District Parliamentarian Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife in absentia of third accused Naresh Kumar Fareek who was evading courts from the beginning of investigations.

MP Prasanna Ranatunga and his wife are currently out on bail.

The Attorney General filed indictments on 15 counts against three accused Prasanna Ranatunga, Maureen Ranatunga and Naresh Kumar Fareek based on the charges of committing offences during the period between April 6, 2015 and June 2, 2015.

In addition, the AG has named 65 witnesses and included 35 articles as the court’s productions against the three accused in this case. The prosecutors maintained that the businessman Gehard Mendis who purchased a 2.5 acre land in Meethotamulla sometime back, had allegedly requested the former Chief Minister to evacuate the unlawful occupants of that land and fill it with soil.The prosecutors alleged that the former Chief Minister’s wife along with two others had entered into an agreement with the businessman and the latter had already paid Rs.15 million to the former for the services.Mendis had lodged a complaint with the FCID stating that the former Chief Minister had threatened him over the phone demanding the rest of the money involved in a promised deal.

The prosecution maintained that the investigations have revealed that the accused had misappropriated Rs.15 million and the voice recordings of the alleged incident had been listed as a production item. Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Anil Silva appeared for the accused.


 

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