By Norman Palihawadane and Anura Balasuriya
UPFA Galle District Parliamentarian Sajin de Vass Gunawardena was arrested by the police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) yesterday over allegations of misusing vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat.
MP Gunawardena was later produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate and ordered to be remanded till May 20.
The CID summoned Gunawardena to record a statement yesterday morning and he was questioned for nearly three hours prior to being taken into custody.
He had been questioned in connection with the misuse of 20 state vehicles belonging to the Presidential Secretariat, police said.
CID sources said the police were still trying to trace the whereabouts of over 120 vehicles belong to the President Secretariat.
The police headquarters has sought public assistance to trace the missing vehicles.
MP Gunawardena was on bail in a separate case filed by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption for non-declaration of assets. He was enlarged on bail in that case on March 31, 2015 when he appeared before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court which also ordered that the passport of the MP be impounded.
The CID questioned MP Vass in February this year in connection with some corruption charges levelled against him by the JVP’s Voice Against Corruption organisation.
Meanwhile, UPFA Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena said that the government had launched a witch hunt against Opposition MPs. A special delegation of Opposition MPs would soon leave for Geneva to complain against the government’s conduct to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), he said. Gunawardena said the government was trying to incarcerate large number of MPs on false charges so that it could intimidate others to toe its line. The minority government was troubled by the no-confidence motions currently being prepared to be lodged against the government leaders, Gunawardena said.