By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta
Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendra, testifying before the presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bond scams, yesterday, said he could not speak for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He said so when Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC asked him some questions, based on a statement the Prime Minister had made in Parliament on March 17, 2017. The SASG produced extracts of the PM’s speech while questioning Mahendran.
When the SASG raised more questions, Mahendra said they should be posed to the PM.
Having read out a section of the Prime Minister’s statement, which claimed as the then Governor had given instructions in the presence of two Deputy Governors and as such he could not be accused of interference with the tender board, the SASG asked whether Mahendra accepted what the PM had said in parliament.
Mahendran: You should as the Prime Minister.
SASG: Do you know why the Prime Minister made such a statement?
Counsel Romesh de Silva, PC: How can he answer that question?
SASG: I am asking whether he knows.
Counsel Chanka de Silva demanded to know whether the SASG himself knew the answer.
SASG: Did the Prime Minister have an inquiry conducted against you?
Mahendra: Yes, there were several investigations.
SASG: I am asking this question in relation to the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament on March 17, 2015. Had an investigation been conducted against you by that time?
Mahendran: I sent a report to the Prime Minister.
SASG: Did he tell you he had seen it?
SASG: Did he accept your report?
Mahendran: I can’t speak for the Prime Minister. He may have consulted persons in the Central Bank and others in reaching a conclusion on it. Please ask the Prime Minister.
The commission headed by Justice K. T. Chitrasiri resumes sitting today.