Former Parliamentarian Sarana Gunawardena yesterday received bail from the Colombo High Court, hours after being found guilty of misusing public funds and being sentenced to three years in prison.
He was given bail by the Colombo High Court after considering the appeal filed by President’s Counsel Anil Silva, who represented the former MP. The Colombo High Court released him on a surety bail of Rs. 300,000.
Earlier in the day the Colombo Magistrate Court sentenced former Deputy Minister Gunawardena to three years in prison over a case of misappropriation of State funds.
Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne sentenced the former Deputy Minister after he was found guilty of causing losses to the Government while he was Chairman of the Development Lotteries Board. The magistrate also fined the suspect Rs. 300,000 in addition to the jail term.
The case was filed against Gunawardena by the Bribery Commission alleging that the Government had incurred losses when he leased three vehicles at a cost of Rs. 960,000 while he was the Chairman of the Development Lotteries Board from 5 May 2005 to 30 April 2007 during the tenure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government.
The former UPFA MP was charged under the Public Property Act for misusing State property while he was serving as the Chairman of the Development Lotteries Board.
Following a lengthy trial, the Colombo Chief Magistrate delivered the verdict stating that the charges against the accused had been proven beyond reasonable doubt. Gunawardena is expected to appeal the sentence.