Former president Rajapaksa speaks on propaganda and payments

Former president Rajapaksa speaks on propaganda and payments

Former president Rajapaksa speaks on propaganda and payments

Written by Lahiru Fernando

15 Oct, 2015 | 10:05 pm

According to the team of lawyers representing former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, the composition of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges, was unlawful.

The argument was put forward when the investigation over alleged non-payment of money due to the Independent Television Network (ITN), for propaganda broadcast of Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the run up to the presidential election was taken up on Thursday, October 15.

An investigation is currently underway into the incident, where a sum of over Rs.200 million  is allegedly owed to ITN for propaganda broadcast during the recent presidential election. Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa was summoned to appear before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Thursday with regard to the incident.

A heated argument broke out as a group attempted to enter the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) amid the heavy security which was in place.

Attorney-at-law Gamini Marapana, representing former president Rajapaksa, took up a preliminary objection that an incumbent president is not vested with the power to appoint High Court judges to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on Large Scale fraud and Corruption.

His argument was that the facts in this investigation directly concern both the former and incumbent presidents, and that because of this, one of those parties appointing a commission to investigate into such matters, was unreasonable.

Thereafter, Commission sittings were adjourned until Friday, for a decision to be taken with regard to the preliminary objection taken up by the former president’s party.

Speaking to the media, UPFA Parliamentarian Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that according to the ITN, the money has been paid to them by an institution called the Media Factory. He added that the party should be held responsible as the people have been chosen by the party.

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