AG’s advice sought to take over frozen Perpetual funds - PM | Daily News


AG’s advice sought to take over frozen Perpetual funds - PM

Rs 11 BN held by Central Bank until BONDS probe conclusion :

The Government has sought the Attorney General’s advice on whether it can take over the Rs 11 billion in the frozen bank accounts of Perpetual Treasuries Group, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament yesterday.

The Prime Minister, responding to a question by Chief Opposition Whip and JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, said the AG has been consulted as to whether this money could be taken over without waiting till the conclusion of the on-going case in the Colombo High Court.

He said Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and he sought the AG’s advice in this regard. The PM pointed out this amount in the bank accounts frozen by the Central Bank is more than the loss incurred due to the questionable Treasury Bonds issuance.

Replying to MP Dissanayake as to whether the the Government is ready to forward the Treasury Bonds case to the recently initiated Special High Courts, the PM said that the AG and the Police are free to do so upon the conclusion of the on-going investigation.

He said he would ask the AG’s Department and the Bribery Commission to expedite the investigation and finish it soon.

The PM responding to MP Dissanayake’s query as to whether he is prepared to make a personal intervention to bring former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran back to the country, the PM said that all the possible legal steps in that regard have already been taken. “Inform me if there is anything else that we can do. I have had no contacts with him after he left the country. My lawyers advised me to sever all my connections with him.I read in newspapers that Mahendran’s lawyers had sought information from court,” he said.

MP Dissanayake queried the progress of setting up of special high courts as per the recent amendment made to the Judicature Act. He also queried the progress of investigations pertaining to the Central Bank Treasury Bonds scam.

The PM said another permanent High Court to try the cases of large scale corruption and financial crimes would be set up in the Western Province shortly. He said the case of misappropriating UDA funds to erect the D. A. Rajapaksa statue and museum in Weeraketiya, Madamulana and the case of misappropriating funds of Litro Gas Lanka have already been forwarded to the newly formed permanent high court.

Explaining the procedure taken to select the cases forwarded to the special high courts, the PM said the Chief Justice makes the decision after studying the reports sent by the AG or the Bribery Commission Director General.

“We adhere to a very transparent procedure and there is no political involvement here. I admire the interest shown by MP Dissanayake in this regard, but I request him to be patient as the procedure takes time. Eventually justice will be met,” he added.

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