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Patali re-remanded until Monday

Former Minister and Parliamentarian Patali Champaka Ranawaka was re-remanded until Monday by the Colombo Additional Magistrate Neranjan de Silva this morning Dec 19.

Ranawaka was produced in court by the Colombo Crimes Division.

Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris told the court that Ranawaka is being charged in connection with a collision that occurred on the night of February 8, 2016.

DSG Peiris said the vehicle number K D 7545 and Motorcycle Number B A K 2011 had crashed into each other, the rider of the motorcycle had been thrown over the other vehicle and on to the ground.

The DSG claimed that Ranawaka was driving the vehicle as friends of the victim on the scene had sworn that the MP had lowered the window and then asked what had happened and then driven off.

“Although the then Minister Ranawaka had claimed he was not driving the vehicle, the GPS data from his phone proved that he was in the vicinity,” the State Counsel told court.

On the following day, Ranawaka’s driver had made a statement to the Borella police saying he was driving the vehicle. However the GPS data on the driver’s phone did not show him in the vicinity of the accident, Peiris said.

He also submitted that the crash had caused about Rs 900,000 damage to the SUV being driven by Ranawaka and that expense had been borne by the state, and that is a violation of the Public Property Act.

He said this case has been filed because Ranawaka has been involved in a conspiracy to involve his driver in the incident using his political power.

Because of these facts, the accused cannot be granted bail, the state attorney submitted.

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Ranawaka’s lawyer President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne submitted that all the offences that his client has been charged are bailable offenses and as the damage to the vehicle was repaired through insurance it is not an offence under the Public Property Act.

The Magistrate then told court that he would convey his decision whether bail could be granted on Monday 24 December and re-remanded the suspect MP.  

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