The Bribery Commission informed the Colombo Fort Magistrate today that it has already commenced a preliminary inquiry into the sum of Rs. 17.85 million recovered from the President’s House on July 9, 2022.

The Bribery Commission informed the court that it had commenced an investigation into the incident pursuant to a complaint lodged by the Puravesi Balaya Organization. Accordingly, Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage directed the Bribery Commission to inform the court of the progress of the investigation on the next hearing date.

The Court had earlier issued a notice directing the Director General of the Bribery Commission to appear in court on March 31 to inquire whether a sum of Rs. 17.85 million recovered from the President’s House on July 9, 2022, would come under the offences relating to the Bribery Act.

On a previous occasion, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, through his lawyer, claimed his rights for the amount of Rs. 17.85 million recovered from the president’s house.

However, the defence counsel raised objections to releasing said amount to the former president, and the prosecution has to ascertain whether there were offences committed under the Money Laundering Act and the Bribery Act.

In their further report, the CID said they had recorded a statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on February 6 regarding ongoing investigations into the sum of Rs. 17.8 million recovered by protesters inside the President’s House.

In the former president’s statement, he stated that money found inside the president’s office belonged to him, but he was unable to take care of them due to the prevailing security situation on that occasion. He has told the police that the sum of money that belonged to him is to be distributed among the people whose houses were destroyed by the protesters.

A further magisterial inquiry is fixed for May 3. Defense Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne PC, Maithri Gunaratne PC, and Counsel Udara Muhandiramge appeared for the suspects in the case.


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