All-Rounder team to prosecute Bond scam culprits | Daily News

All-Rounder team to prosecute Bond scam culprits

An unprecedented 15 officers of the Attorney General’s Department have been picked into a team to prosecute the case filed in the Permanent High Court against the 10 accused in the Central Bank bond scam that took place in February 2015, according to highly placed sources in the Attorney General’s Department.

The 15 law officers were individually and personally chosen by Attorney General Dappula de Livera taking into consideration the various skills and areas of law that will be necessary to get convictions against the former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendra, his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, Perpetual Treasuries Limited and the seven other accused.

Many senior lawyers have noted that the way that Livera selected the officers has covered all of the angles and made it very difficult for the accused to try and slow down the case using technicalities and legal challenges.

“Many of the criminal side prosecutors alone are not strong enough when it comes to fighting challenges that might stop the trial from starting or bring in technicalities especially given the complexities of the case,” sources familiar with the selection process by the AG said.

“By bringing in some of the top officers in the civil division also, we have now covered these areas.”

“Before Dappula de Livera’s time, no previous Attorney General put so much work and so many officers into one case to ensure that justice was done for the people of Sri Lanka,” the person said. It is the first time in the 150 year history of the Attorney General’s Department that such a mix of civil and criminal prosecutors have been assembled to ensure the success of a single critical case. “If previous AGs had the same vision, many cases that were lost in recent years may have succeeded,” said the prominent source in the Attorney General’s Department.

All together nine junior officers from the Criminal Division of the Attorney General’s Department will work under the supervision of four more experienced and senior officers from the Civil Division, to ensure that no stone is left unturned to win the case. The entire team will come under the supervision of Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana, who will be personally overseen by Attorney General Dappula De Livera.

The criminal division team includes Senior Deputy Solicitors General Parinda Ranasinghe and Haripriya Jayasundara, Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Ratnayake, Senior State Counsels Nayomi Wickremasekara and Lakmini Girihagama and State Counsels Udara Karunatillake, Sahanya Naranpanawe, Chathuri Wijesuriya, Dhanushka Rahubadda and Tharshika Thirukumaranathan.

From the civil division, they will be supervised by Additional Solicitors General Viraj Dayaratne, Deputy Solicitor Generals Shaheeda Barrie and Milinda Gunatillake and Senior State Counsel Avanti Perera.

Even though the team is very strong, the Attorney General who previously led the prosecution during the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Bond issue has assured the team that he would offer guidance to the prosecutors at any time if necessary. He had selected the civil division team from his experience in evaluating their performance at the Commission of Inquiry into the Issuance of Treasury Bonds in 2017, and based on the unique experience and insights of officers closely associated with the civil division.

They had believed that these officers were instrumental in the groundbreaking success of that Commission that made the case possible. “The fact that they and de Livera were removed from the criminal investigation afterward is the main reason that the case dragged on for so long,” said the source. “Now with the original team restored in the prosecution, there is an assurance that they can repeat their accomplishments from the Bond Commission and victory will be assured. This might be the most important decision the Attorney General will make in his career.”

Last Friday (19), this team served indictment against eight of the ten accused on charges of criminal misappropriation of government bonds, conspiracy to misappropriate public property and insider trading in treasury bonds with materially undisclosed information.

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