Colombo Chief Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday recalled the notice issued on former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who had been ordered to appear before the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court on 7 September, as a suspect in the case where he is alleged to have misappropriated State funds to the tune of Rs. 90 million in the construction of the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum at Weeraketiya.
Magistrate Dissanayake recalled the notice when the said case was called for hearing through a motion filed by the FCID.
The notice on Rajapaksa was issued by Colombo Additional Magistrate Neranjana de Silva on 20 July.
Filing the Motion, the FCID requested the Court to impose a travel ban on certain suspects connected to the case as it had come to light that they were planning to avoid Court by leaving the country.
Announcing his decision Magistrate Dissanayake said that at first glance it was clear to him the notice issued on the former Defence Secretary was illegal and that the issuance of notices to suspects from No. 1 to No. 7 was a serious offence.
Magistrate Dissanayake said that based on the order given by the Court of Appeal in connection with the petition No. 391/17 filed by the first suspect, he would recall the notice issued to the first suspect Gotabaya Rajapaksa and also those issued on the second to seventh suspect.
The Magistrate also impounded the passports of the suspects after having recalled the notices issued on them.
The Magistrate also ordered the FCID to apprehend the six suspects if there was sufficient evidence against them to do so. The suspects whose notices were recalled by the Chief Magistrate were Gotabaya Rajapaksa, former head of the LRDB Prasad de Silva, GM of LRDB Badra Udulawathee Kamaladasa, Sudammika Keminda Atigalla, Saman Kumara Galappaththi, Mahinda Saliya and GM of LRDB S. Mallika Kumari Senadheera.