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Gamini Senarath et al remanded

Gamini Senarath et al remanded

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's Chief of Staff Gamini Sedara Senarath and two others were remanded by the Colombo Fort Magistrate's Court yesterday (13) on charges of misappropriating Government funds.

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne issued the order yesterday when the trio surrendered to Court.

According to reports, on 6 November, Senarath had filed a fundamental rights petition, in the Supreme Court, seeking an order to prevent the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) from arresting him. On a request made by the FCID, Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, on 31 October, banned Senarath, former Managing Director of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) Piyadasa Balage and former Commissioner of Samurdhi Neil Bandara Hapuwinna from travelling abroad.

The trio has been named as suspects in a case involving the misuse of Government funds, to the tune of Rs 4 billion. They are being charged under the Offences Against Public Property Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The FCID had previously informed the Court that in 2012, the SLIC, the Employees' Provident Fund and the Litro Gas Lanka had, with Cabinet approval, allocated

Rs 18.5 billion for the construction of the Grand Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kollupitiya and for the construction to be carried out by a company affiliated to the SLIC.

However, Rs 4 billion from the said amount had instead been invested in the Hyatt Regency Hotel project in Hambantota. Thus, according to the FCID, resulting in a shortage of funds for the Kollupitiya project.

The case will next be taken up on 15 November.

(Ceylon Today)

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