The Attorney General yesterday informed the Court of Appeal that there has been no written or oral contracts entered into by the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation and the D.A. Rajapaksa Foundation for the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana.
Senior Deputy Solicitor General Viraj Dayaratne appearing on behalf of the Attorney General said the then Navy Commander had given a statement stating that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa by a telephone call requested him to release Navy personnel to provide labour.
“There is no contract in writing. There is not even a verbal contract. Therefore, there is no undertaking to pay back the funds,” Dayaratne said.
The Senior Deputy Solicitor General requested to vacate the Interim Order challenging the maintainability of the of the writ petition. He said former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was challenging a document which had been filed two years ago. ‘The certificate issued by an ASP in terms of Public Property Act has been filed two years ago (2015). The undue delay is a ground to refuse this application. This is an application,the court should not entertain due to the delay. There has been no violation of law either on the part of the Attorney General or FCID,’ he further added.
Senior Deputy Solicitor General further said that the D.A.Rajapaksa Foundation voluntarily agreed to pay Rs.33 million in August, 2015, after the police commenced their investigations in May 2015.
He further said investigations also revealed that the D.A. Rajapaksa Foundation is not a Statutory Board.
President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for the former Defence Secretary stated that there is no criminal aspect to this case. ‘There was a civil contract from the beginning to the end. There is no wrongful act committed by Rajapaksa. There is no criminality in this case,’ de Silva added.
Finally he sought Court jurisdiction to extend the Interim Order until the next inquiry date. Further inquiry was fixed for January 25.
The Court of Appeal (CA) yesterday further extended until January 25, its Interim Order preventing police from acting against former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa under the Public Property Act regarding a Magistrate’s Court inquiry.
The CA extended this Interim Order preventing police from acting under the Public Property Act against Rajapaksa, on the Galle Magistrate’s Court inquiry over a complaint that the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana was built using public funds amounting to Rs.90 million.
On November 29, the Interim Order was issued on the basis of an ex parte proceeding by a two-judge-bench comprising Court of Appeal (President) Justice L.T.B. Dehideniya and Justice Shiran Gunaratne. This is pursuant to a writ petition filed by Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
The Court upheld Rajapaksa’s version that the certificate issued under section 8(1) of the offences against the Public Property Act is ultra vires or violative of his legitimate expectations.
Rajapaksa cited IGP Pujith Jayasundara, CID Director Shani Abeysekara, FCID Director Ravi Waidyalankara and the Attorney General as respondents.
Rajapaksa also seeks an order in the nature of a writ of prohibition preventing the respondents from proceeding or relying upon the certificate filed under and in terms of section 8(1) of the offences against the Public Property Act against him.
Rajapaksa maintained that the offences against the Public Property Act contains a provision in section 8(1) as amended where, upon the certification by a Police Officer that the value of the matter exceeds Rs. 25,000, it will not be competent for the magistrate’s court unless in exceptional circumstances to release such a person on bail after recording reasons.
Rajapaksa stated that one such method was to say that there was a criminal offence committed by Rajapaksa regarding monies belonging to the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Board (SLLRDC).
Rajapaksa stated that recently he was informed that he is to be arrested. He further said that originally the proceedings reflect a possible charge of money laundering. He stated that there is no offence whatever in respect of the said matter.
He states that the D.A Rajapaksa Foundation, a statutory body, entered into a contract with the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Department for the construction of a monument at Medamulana in Weeraketiya. Rajapaksa states that there was no written contract.
He stated that, at all times the petitioner, the Foundation and SLLRDC acted on the basis that there was a contract between the SLLRDC and the foundation and that the foundation would pay to the SLLRDC lawfully due for the construction of the monument.
He states that the monument was unveiled on or about November 6, 2014 though not complete, because that was the death anniversary of the late D.A. Rajapakse.
The petitioner states that the government changed in January 2015 and the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation Board came under the Megalopolis Ministry, under Minister Patali Champaka Ranawaka.
In August of 2015, the Foundation received a request for a part payment which the Foundation paid. The petitioner pleads that thereafter he received a letter of demand. The petitioner states that the said Attorney, who sent the letter has on several occasions acted for and on behalf of the Minister Patali Champaka Ranawaka.