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Namal’s Gowers case trial date extended

Namal’s Gowers case trial date extended

The case filed against Hambantota district Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa and five others for their alleged involvement in laundering money was fixed for yesterday, by the Colombo High Court. The case involves laundering Rs.30 million, through Gowers Corporate Services.

The Court is to fix new trial dates instead of February 16, the earlier trial date.

High Court Judge Sampath Abeykoon also permitted MP Namal Rajapaksa to travel to Dubai between December 20 and December 31.

Four accused Namal Rajapaksa, the eldest son of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Nithya Senani Samaranayake, Sujani Bogollagama and Iresha Silva who functioned as the directors of Gowers Corporation director were present in court when the case was taken up before the High Court.

The second accused Indika Karunajeewa was not present but represented by an attorney.

The High Court permitted the prosecution to proceed trial in absentia of second and sixth accused in terms of section 241 of the Criminal Procedure Code. At a previous occasion, the Colombo High Court had served indictments on three accused regarding this money laundering case.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against Namal Rajapaksa, Indika Karunajeewa, Sujani Bogollagama, Iresha Silva, Nithya Senani Samaranayake and Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited on 11 counts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act for their alleged involvement in money laundering amounting to Rs.30 million in a company (Gowers Corporate Services) owned by Namal Rajapaksa between 2013 and 2014.

It was reported that Gowers Corporate Services of Colombo 5, is providing coordinating services to SriLankan Airlines.

The FCID had initiated investigations into this matter following a complaint by Voice Against Corruption Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe. Samarasinghe alleged that MP Namal Rajapaksa had bought shares of a company named Hello Corp and set up a company called Gowers Corporate Services while being an MP from the Rs.125 million earned through illegal means.

State Counsel Padmal Weerasinghe appeared for the Attorney General.

President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe appeared for Namal Rajapaksa. Counsel Sampath Mendis with Jeewantha Jayatilleke appeared for other accused.

(FT)

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