National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa has made a miraculous recovery and was discharged from the National Hospital less than four hours after being granted bail this morning.
Weerawansa was taken to the Colombo Fort Magistrate Court by ambulance this morning from the Colombo National Hospital.
He was admitted to the Colombo National Hospital from the Prison Hospital on March 29.
Weerawansa had engaged in a 9-day hunger strike previously in protest of his bail application being turned down twice.
Weerawansa was being held on charges he caused the government a loss of Rs. 90 million by misusing state-owned vehicles while he was Minister of Housing during the previous regime.
Wimal Released on Bail
Wimal Weerawansa was ordered to be released on a cash bail of Rs.50,000 with two sureties of Rs.500,000 by Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne.
The Magistrate further issued an order directing the Controller of the Immigration and Emigration preventing MP Weerawansa from leaving the country and his passport was ordered to be surrender in Courts.
While deciding to release the suspect on bail, the Magistrate observed that the mental health condition of the suspect’s the15-year-old daughter can be considered as an exceptional circumstance to release the suspect on bail after perusing the medical documents submitted in Court. The Court was informed that MP Weerawansa’s daughter was suffering from symptoms ofadjustment disorder owing to separation from her father for a three-month-period.
However, the Magistrate rejected the claims by defence that the suspect cannot be charged under Public Property Act for aiding and abetting to commit offence.
She further observed that the remand period of the suspect cannot be considered as an exceptional circumstance to release the suspect on bail. Wimal Weerawansa had been charged under the Public Property Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and Penal Code and was arrested by FCID on January 10. On January 24, the Magistrate refused to enlarge the former Minister on bail observing that the evidence presented before Court have proved that former Minister Weerawansa had intentionally given these vehicles to his close relatives and his party activists while they were not holding any position at the SEC.
The Magistrate further observed that it is apparent that the former Minister has intentionally and dishonestly misappropriated these vehicles by entrusting them to his close relatives and party activists.
On March 24, the Colombo High Court had also dismissed a revision application filed by Wimal Weerawansa challenging Fort Magistrate’s order to refuse bail.
The FCID conducting investigations into the alleged misuse of state vehicles had informed Court that Weerawansa had given his written and verbal approval to the commission to commit these offences while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister.
“These vehicles had been given to the SEC on a rental basis to carry out ministerial functions. However, the vehicles in question had been given to five relatives of the former minister including his sister. Ten other vehicles were given to 10 officials of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna and the other vehicles were given to his staff members who were not entitled to receive them,” the FCID had told Court.
The FCID alleged that Weerawansa had given these vehicles for the use of his close relatives and private staff members without Treasury approval during 2010 to 2015.
However, the defence had denied the allegations and informed Court that the FCID is conducting a politically motivated inquiry to punish the government’s political opponents.
The FCID had filed a B report in Court againstWeerawansa alleging that he misused 40 vehicles while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the state.
The OIC of FCID, Chief Inspector Anura Premaratne appeared for the prosecution. President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe appeared for the suspect.
I never begged for bail From President or Prime Minister : Wimal
National Freedom Front Leader and Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa who was granted bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday said that he never begged for bail from the President or the Prime Minister after being behind bars for over 80 days.
He was addressing the media after being released on bail by Colombo Fort Magistrate court yesterday “There is no need for me to beg for bail from the President or Prime Minister. I was in remand prison for over 80 days because I never begged for bail from them,”he said.
(Compiled from reports in Colombo Newspapers and Websites)