Sri Lanka’s special high court to open on July 4

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s first special high court to try multi-billion dollar graft cases under former president Mahinda Rajapaksa will open on July 4, Cabinet Spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said.

He said the first court will open in Colombo and two more will be added before the end of September to clear the backlog of high profile cases involving members of the former regime.

Last month, parliament approved the setting up of special high courts with 119 MPs voting in favour and 52 against. Legislators loyal to the former president voted against the bill.

 President Maithripala Sirisena came to power pledging to punish members of the former administration accused of stealing vast sums during Rajapaksa’s decade in power.

The only successful prosecution so far has been of Rajapaksa’s chief aide Lalith Weeratunga who was sentenced to three years in prison for misappropriating 600 million rupees. However, he has been given bail pending the conclusion of his appeal.

Two of the former president’s three sons have been charged with money-laundering and other relatives face corruption allegations. Rajapaksa, who is not under investigation, denies any wrongdoing. (COLOMBO, June 13, 2018)

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