Colombo High Court issues warrant on prosecution witness | Daily News

Colombo High Court issues warrant on prosecution witness

 

The warrant was issued to a prosecution witness, Prasad Dimuthu Kumara in the case filed against former UPFA MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena over a money laundering charge, by the Colombo High Court yesterday.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta, State Counsel who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General informed the Court that the 2nd prosecution witness in the case has informed that he could not appear in court due to the shortage of fuel in the country and the inability to procure travel facilities.

Attorney-at-Law Jeewantha Jayathilaka appearing for former UPFA MP Sajin Vass, said that the failure of this witness to appear in court for the second consecutive day was an act of obstruction of court proceedings. He requested the court to look into the matter and make an appropriate order if the witness evaded the court deliberately.

After considering all the facts, the High Court Judge said that the CID had been informed the witness on May 17 about the next two days of the hearings in this case.

Therefore, he had been informed in sufficient time to make the necessary arrangements to appear before the court.

The judge pointed out that even the court staff coming from Kelaniya could use public transport to reach the office on time and the witness would also be able to come to court.

Accordingly, warrant was issued for the second witness in the case by the Colombo High Court.

The case will be taken up again for further trail on July 05.

MP Sajin Vass Gunawardena has been indicted by the Attorney General (AG) on the charge of money laundering amounting to over Rs.306.26 million, under Section 3 [1] [a] of Money Laundering Act No 05 of 2006 as amended by Act No 40 of 2011.

At a previous hearing, Indictment was handed over to accused and accused was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 5 million.

According to the Attorney General, the scam was unearthed during an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on a complaint received on 02.02.2015.

The CID investigation has revealed that Sajin Vass Gunawardena has owned a group of companies under the name of ‘COSMOS’ which had 21 companies at the time he gave nominations to contest the Parliamentary election in 2010.

Though he has resigned from the directorship of all those companies and transferred his shares to his wife before he became a member of the 14th Parliament, the evidence had revealed that he has effectively run the full operation of those companies even after he became an MP.

Though on paper he had distanced himself from those companies, the CID investigation revealed that Gunawardena has made suspicious transactions using 7 out of the 21 companies.

He has allegedly deposited over Rs.458.73 million in this manner in the accounts of those companies. Evidence was disclosed that Gunawardena used to bring monies in cash and asked to deposit the same in an account of a company named by him.

 


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