The Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating into mass scale frauds and corruption yesterday rejected the preliminary objections raised by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s counsel and decided to go ahead with its mandate.
Defence Counsel Gamini Marapone appearing for the former President before the Commission raised objections that serving judges of the High Court cannot be appointed to function as members of the Commission.
Former President Rajapaksa yesterday arrived at the commission for the second day, as its sittings were suspended for yesterday pending a ruling on objections raised by the former President’s counsel Gamini Marapone.
Defence Counsel Gamini Marapone while expressing agreement to give evidence said that he will never discard their objections. Counsel Marapone appearing for former President Rajapaksa will take immediate legal action against the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into mass scale fraud and corruption.
The former President was summoned before the Commission to obtain a statement from him over five allegations including the financial loses caused to Independent Television Network for telecasting advertisements in support of him at the last Presidential election.
The Commission also questioned former United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) General Secretary and Minister Susil Premajayanth on the unpaid bills to ITN at the last Presidential election.
Minister Susil Pramayantha when cross examined by commissioners said that former President Rajapaksa is not responsible for these charges as he was a mere a candidate fielded by the SLFP for the 2015 Presidential election.
The minister insisted that the SLFP had not given any advertisement to the ITN and all of them were given by two advertising firms.
“We have not even signed agreements with any advertising firm and the issues with regard to non payment of bills to ITN should be taken up with the advertising firm concerned,” he said.
He said that the advertising firm in question should take the whole responsibility with regard to losses incurred to the ITN.
Sittings of the Commission was fixed for October 19.