(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Permanent High Court at Bar has served indictments on the President’s former Chief of Staff I.H.K. Mahanama and the former Chairman of the State Timber Corporation (STC) Piyadasa Dissanayake and ordered to release them on bail.
The indictments signed by the Director General of the Bribery Commission, Attorney-at-Law Sarath Jayamanne, were served to the accused before the three-judge bench comprising Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratna.
Accordingly, 24 charges have been filed by the Bribery Commission against the defendants and 46 persons have been named as witnesses. There are 41 documents presented as evidence.
The three-judge bench, which ordered each accused to be released on Rs. 500,000 cash bail and three personal bails of Rs. 1 million, ordered to bar the defendants from foreign travels and to hand over their passports to the court.
Subsequently, Deputy Solicitor General Ayesha Jinasena, appearing for the Bribery Commission, told the court that all documents related to the case will be handed over to the defendant today.
President’s Counsel Rienzi Arsakularatne and Anil Silva appearing on behalf of the accused asked the court for a date to make submissions to the court if there were any shortcomings after examinations of the documents.
Accordingly, the three-member panel of judges ordered the case to be taken up again on the 22nd of this month and ordered the defense to make submissions.
The Deputy Solicitor General, appearing for the Bribery Commission, making another request, told the court that the Bribery Commission is in the custody of several sealed audio tapes named as evidence in this case and requested the court to allow them to be opened on the next hearing day.
The three-member panel of judges accepted the request and allowed the tapes to be heard in court the next day.
I.H.K. Mahanama and P. Dissanayake were first arrested in May 2018 by officials from the Bribery Commission, who caught the men in the act of accepting a Rs. 20 million bribe from an Indian businessman in the parking lot of a high-end Colombo hotel.