ECONOMYNEXT – A director of Sri Lanka’s controversial Perpetual Treasuries petitioned the Court of Appeal Wednesday asking that he be dropped as a suspect in the 2015 bond scam.
Ajhan Punchihewa sought court intervention to halt any proceedings against him in the Permanent Trail-at-bar in line with a request of Attorney General Dappula de Livera.
Punchihewa says he was an independent non-executive director of Perpetual and attended his first board meeting on March 13, 2015, more than two weeks after the alleged insider dealing transaction in government bonds.
He sets out extensively how he had been cooperating with the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), but was surprised by the sudden change of heart of the authorities to indict him although evidence suggested he had no involvement in the questionable transactions.
“In considering the chronology of events, and the cumulative circumstances, the Petitioner strongly feels that the CID and/or the Police have not acted on their own, but appear to have been pressurized to act under dictation, hence, filing an incomplete report in haste bereft of fairness, reason, and procedural propriety,” the petition said.
He asked the court to issue an interim order preventing police from taking any action to report him to Interpol and halting any further legal action against him pending the final determination of his appeal to the Court of Appeal.
Punchihewas is seeking the eventual quashing of charges against him in an indictment before the trial-at-bar. (COLOMBO, July 24, 2019)