Court allows Gotabhaya to travel overseas for medical reasons, hands back passport

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Permanent High Court at Bar has granted permission today (03) to former Defense Secretary and presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to travel overseas for a medical examination from the 9th to 12th of October.

The case against the former Defense Secretary, filed by the Attorney General, for allegedly misappropriating state funds to construct the D.A. Rajapaksa Museum and Memorial in Medamulana, was taken up before the Special High Court’s bench comprising Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratna this morning.

On Tuesday (01), President’s Counsel Ali Sabry on behalf of Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested the court to release Rajapaksa’s passport, which is in the custody of the court, as his client has decided to contest for the upcoming Presidential Election as the candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) and the passport is needed to prove the identity when handing over nominations.

President’s Counsel Ali Sabry also said his client had undergone cardiac surgery in Singapore and is due to travel overseas from October 9 to 12 for a medical examination related to his surgery.

Accordingly, PC Sabry had requested the court to release the passport which is currently held under the custody of courts and to lift the travel ban imposed on him during that period.

When the case was taken up today, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, appearing for the Attorney General, said that he was not opposed to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s request.

Accordingly, the three-judge bench ordered to temporarily lift the travel ban imposed on the former Defense Secretary and to inform this decision to the Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

The three-judge bench also ordered Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to return his passport to the custody of the judiciary upon his return to the country.

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