Written by Lahiru Fernando
20 Sep, 2017 | 8:51 pm
“Arjuna Mahendran being a foreign citizen does not take him outside the jurisdiction and he had to obey the summons , especially after accepting appointment as Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Mahendran cannot claim that he is outside our law.”
This was a special statement made by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the Treasury Bond Issue.
Mahendran is in a different position to Arjun Aloysius, the former Governor’s son-in-law.
Aloysius responded to the summons. However, he pleaded that he is “likely to be the accused in a criminal case in the High Court”. Also that, if he is compelled to give evidence, he may incriminate himself.
The Presidential Commission says that Aloysius invoked the Golden Rule of the Law, that an accused “cannot be forced to incriminate himself”. The Commission has stated that it is obliged to keep within the intent and spirit of the law.
It adds compelling Arjun Aloysius to give evidence would have resulted in an application to the Superior Court for judicial review. This may have resulted in much delay in conducting these proceedings.
Compelling Aloysius to give evidence against his wishes may have raised a potential question of law, said the Commission. That being the admissibility of the entirety of the evidence that emerges from these proceedings.
According to the statement, Mahendran does not invoke any right of an accused or likely accused, and is compelled to give evidence.
The Commission does not think Mahendran is foolish as to not take the opportunity to give evidence and his explanation.
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