Written by Staff Writer
30 Dec, 2019 | 10:45 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st) – The Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered that former minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne be granted bail when the matter was taken up earlier today.
Rajitha Senaratne was remanded on the 27th of December over a case filed by the Criminal Investigations Department with regard to the controversial ‘white-van’ press conference.
MP Senaratne was admitted to a private hospital in Narahenpita at the time and continued receiving treatment at the hospital while in custody. He wasn’t present in court today citing illness.
Presenting facts before the bench, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris representing the Attorney General’s Department, stated that the private hospital concerned has made a healthy individual a heart patient.
He further added that MP Senaratne arrived at the hospital in disguise, prior to being admitted.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris said that the cardiologist at the hospital, Dr Rashid Mubarak, did not present facts pertaining to Dr Senaratne’s health clearly, further requesting that a Judicial Medical Officer be permitted to monitor the MP.
Speaking on behalf of the defendant, President’s Counsel Wasantha Navaratne Bandara stated that Dr Rashid Mubarak had been treating his client since 2006. He further added that treatment must be given based on the requirement of the patient, and not based on the requirement of the department.
The PC further added that as per the Presidential Election act, it was only the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa or Sajith Premadasa that could have filed charges over the ‘white-van’ press conference. He elaborated that neither of them had done so.
PC Bandara then requested that the court grant his candidate bail under any condition stipulated by the Magistrate.
The Magistrate then stated that it cannot be clearly determined in considering the facts presented by both parties, that MP Senaratne is in the hospital with a motive.
The Magistrate also elaborated on how the accusations with regard to the incidents have not been done as per the proper protocol, adding that given the circumstances, she sees no reason why bail cannot be granted.
As a result, MP Rajitha Senaratne was released based on two sureties of Rs. 500,000 each. The MP’s passport, however, has been surrendered to the court.
MP Senaratne was also ordered to provide a statement to the Criminal Investigations Department.
Meanwhile, several UNP MPs shared their thoughts regarding the release of MP Rajitha Senaratane.
UNP MP Sajith Premadasa stated that they are delighted to see justice prevail and their colleague who did an outstanding service to the people of this country. He added that as a responsible opposition they will always be prepared to secure the human, economic and social rights of the people of this country.
Journalist: Are you the Opposition Leader or a Parliamentarian?
Sajith Premadasa: I will give you a permit to come to Parliament on the 3rd to get that clarified.
Journalist: As of now, the number of vehicles in the President’s fleet has been reduced. But you use two to three security vehicles in your entourage. Don’t you like to give an example to the people of this country by reducing the number of vehicles?
Sajith Premadasa responded that if they intend to make a complaint about the number of vehicles in his entourage, complain to the CID.
Attorney-at-law, Ajith P. Perera stated that the courts are independent and its a blessing.
“They came to power to catch the Central Bank rogues. These people came into power to catch the people who aided the Zaharans. So people of that calibre are now engaging in cheap politics as this” UNP MP Nalin Bandara added.
Following instructions from Courts, Prison officials and the court Registrar arrived at the private hospital in Narahenpita today, where Dr Rajitha Senaratne is currently receiving treatment. They arrived at the hospital to sign the papers relating to bail bonds.
Several members of Parliament too arrived at the hospital to inquire into Dr Rajitha Senaratne’s health.
UNP MP Chathura Senaratne stated that the case would not come to an end soon and they will be called before the court on the 6th once again.
Attorney-at-law Gunaratne Wanninayake noted that he might travel to Singapore. He added that although the passport is with the court if he needs to go overseas for further treatment he could request to lift his travel ban.
Journalist: A politician having this kind of sickness.
Wanninayake stated that all the politicians are sick.
Journalist: Will the people take that into account at next year’s parliamentary election?
Wanninayake stated that people will have to think long and hard about it.
“They will have to think about the Bond Scam. I challenge the Government, if you can, file legal action against the Bond Scam” he added.
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