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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2036

Lalith Weeratunge to file appeal

Colombo, 08 September, (Asiantibune.com):

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa appearing on behalf of former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita who were convicted of misappropriating Rs. 600 million in funds belonging to the TRC over the Controversial Sil Redi distribution case, yesterday informed that the defence is expecting to file an appeal in the Court of Appeal challenging the judgment of Colombo High Court to convict his clients.

Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Pelpita were yesterday found guilty of misappropriating Rs.600 million of funds belonging to TRC in the controversial Sil Redi (fabrics used by devotees to observe Sil) distribution case and were sentenced to three-years-Rigorous Imprisonment by the Colombo High Court.

While handing out a lengthy judgment, High Court Judge Gihan Kulatunga maintained that the prosecutors have proven the accused’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The High Court Judge further maintained that the accused had committed this offence dishonestly with the intention of gaining undue advantage to a particular candidate during the 2015 - Presidential Election.

The High Court Judge, delivering the judgement, said there had been a political motivation in the commission of the offence and it was to support their appointing authority.

President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa, who appeared for the convicts, requested the High Court Judge to take into consideration, in imposing the penalty, the health condition of the convicts and also the fact that they had no previous convictions. They had held public office for long years without any wrongdoing.

The Counsel also stressed that a CID investigation officer in his evidence at the trial had said that the Rs. 600 million had not been not used for the personal benefit of the accused.

Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige appeared for the Attorney General.

Following the delivery of the judgement the counsel for the convicts told the court that the convicts would shortly file an appeal in the Court of Appeal against the judgment and the penalty imposed.

Lalith Weeratunga, who the Secretary to the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the time of the commission of the offence.

- Asian Tribune -

Lalith Weeratunga - Anusha Pelpita
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