Travel ban on Basil Rajapaksa lifted | Daily News


 

Travel ban on Basil Rajapaksa lifted

The Colombo High Court yesterday lifted the travel ban imposed on former Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa who had been named as the first accused in the almanac case.

When the case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga, the defence counsel informed court that former Minister Basil Rajapaksa expected to travel to the USA from December 5 to March 7 for medical treatment. Therefore, counsel moved court to lift the travel ban imposed against him.

The High Court Judge ordered the lifting of the travel ban imposed against the accused and also ordered that the case be postponed for March 30.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against the former Minister and former Director General of Divi Neguma Department, Kithsiri Ranawaka in the Colombo High Court for allegedly printing five million almanacs with the image of then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, at a cost of Rs. 29.4 million of funds belonging to the Divi Neguma Department, to be used as election propaganda material, during the January 2015 Presidential Election.

The Attorney General alleged that by printing these almanacs between November 23 and December 31, 2014, the accused had attempted to influence citizens of this country to vote for then Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The AG maintained that the act of the accused deems him guilty of the offence of bribery in accordance with Section 79 of the Presidential Election Act No. 15 of 1981.

Furthermore, the two accused have been charged with misappropriation under the Public Property Act No. 12 of 1982. The AG had listed 32 people including Election Commission Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya as witnesses in the case.

Senior State Counsel Sudarshana Silva appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Anil Silva with Jayantha Weerasinghe, PC, appeared for the accused.


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