Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa who was remanded by the Kaduwela Magistrate on Wednesday (22), was transferred to the Colombo National Hospital yesterday.
Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala, who refused bail to the former Minister of Economic Development late Wednesday, issued instructions that he was to be treated at the Prison Hospital.
However, the ex-Minister was transferred to the Merchant Ward of the National Hospital in Colombo, a famous pit-stop for most Sri Lankan politicians in police custody or serving prison terms.
Hand-cuffed and escorted by prison guards, Basil Rajapaksa arrived at National Hospital Colombo last afternoon, and was wheeled into the Merchant Ward.
Meanwhile UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayanth was caught on video by a private broadcaster on Wednesday night, seeking access into the Prison Hospital for himself and UPFA MP Namal Rajapaksa, and informing an individual on the other end of a phone line to speak to the Commissioner General of Prisons to get them access.
Premajayanth was also caught on tape informing the person on the other end of the phone line that Basil Rajapaksa could be moved to National Hospital if the Prison Doctor recommended it.
“That can be easily done,” he was recorded saying.
“The former Minister was seen by the Prison Doctor who recommended that he should be at the National Hospital, who also perused his medical reports from the US,” Attorney at Law U.R. De Silva told Daily FT.
The legal team for Basil Rajapaksa would be making a fresh bail application before the magistrate based on the ex-Minister’s medical condition, De Silva said.
Asked about the medical complaint the former Minister was ailing from, the lawyer said that he was being treated and checked for a heart condition in the US.
The legal team would receive a report from doctors attending to Basil Rajapaksa today, De Silva added.
“Once we get that report we will submit it to the Attorney General, who will give us a recommendation by next Monday (27). With that we hope to submit a fresh bail application on Tuesday,” the lawyer explained.
Basil Rajapaksa who is the younger brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was arrested and placed in remand on charges of misappropriation of funds to the tune of tens of millions of rupees from the Divineguma Department which operated under his Ministry. He was grilled for nearly 10 hours by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division in Colombo prior to his arrest.
The former Minister and presidential sibling was arrested on three charges, including financial fraud and printing 5 million calendars with election promotional material using Divineguma funds and awarding tenders for the printing contract to private companies, attorney at law Kamal Wijesiri said.