One of the key prosecution witnesses in the controversial “white van” case against former Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne today admitted during the High Court trial that the confidential statement he made before the Magistrate was a false one.

Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake, the second prosecution witness in the case, informed the Colombo High Court that he was influenced by CID officers to implicate former Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

In this case, indictments had been filed under fourteen counts against former Minister Rajitha Senaratne and former SPC Chairman Rumi Mohammed, including making false statements about the personal character of SLPP Presidential Candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the 2019 Presidential Election.

When the matter was taken up for trial before High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte, witness Madanayake said what he said at the white van press conference was a true incident that he had to experience in his life. However, he said he was compelled to make a false statement to the Colombo Chief Magistrate owing to the influence of the then CID Director. He further said he was forced to make this false statement after thinking about the importance of family well-being.

Meanwhile, the Colombo High Court issued an arrest warrant for the first prosecution witness, Sarath Kumara, for his failure to appear before the court to give evidence.

The Attorney General had filed indictments consisting of fourteen counts against two accused in connection with organizing the white van press conference on November 10, 2019, ahead of the presidential election. Sakalavalli Arachchige Sarath Kumara and Watareka Gamage Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake, who were present at the controversial press conference, had been named as the witnesses in the case.

Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Pieris appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Anil Silva and Maithri Gunaratne PC appeared for the defence.







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