Special High Court asked to try Sri Lanka ex-Finance Minister, ex-Central Bank Governor on alleged bond fraud

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Attorney General has framed charges against ex-Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, ex-Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, and officials of a primary dealer in government securities, requesting trial by a Special High Court, a spokesperson said.

The AG had requested a special three judge bench for a special High Court to fast track the case.

Charges had also been framed against Chairman of Perpetual Treasuries Arjun Aloysius, Chief Executive Kasun Palisena, directors, and Sangarapillai Padumanathan, an executive officer at the Public Debt Department of the Central Bank and Indika Saman Kumara, from the Employees Provident Fund.

They have been charged in relation to a bond auction on March 29, 2016.

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The special High Court was requested as the accused in an organized manner to impact the national economy, AGs spokesperson said.

Perpetual Treasuries had used material undisclosed information of the central bank conspired to change the outcome of the bond auction and cause large losses to the government and earn undue profits.

Due to this there was public displeasure against the central bank, and loss confidence of bona fide market participants on the central bank.

Charges were framed for violating the penal code, encouraging and conspiring to misappropriate public property .

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Charges were framed for violating the Stock and Securities Ordinance, by using material undisclosed information to push up prices for their personal benefit,

Charges were framed against ex-Finance Minister for making statements representatives of the Bank of Ceylon, People Bank and National Savings Bank to submit bids at low yields on the promise that other state agencies would also do so and misleading them. (Colombo/Feb16/2021)

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