D A Rajapaksa memorial case: Gota appeals to SC | Sunday Observer

D A Rajapaksa memorial case: Gota appeals to SC

3 March, 2019

Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa will seek the Supreme Court’s intervention to overturn the order given by the Permanent High Court at Bar rejecting the preliminary objection by his lawyers in the D A Rajapaksa memorial case.Rajapaksa’s legal representatives told the Sunday Observer that papers for the appeal have already been filed with the Registry of the Supreme Court.

“This is a procedure laid down in law and in terms of the law we have a right to appeal to the Supreme Court and we are exercising that right, there’s nothing unusual about it,” they said.

The appeal will have to be heard before a five-judge Bench of the Supreme Court as it is contesting an order given by a Trial-at-Bar.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and six others were indicted with misuse of public funds and the trial was scheduled to begin last Friday. Accordingly, the Presidential candidate hopeful and six others were indicted on seven counts including allegedly misappropriating public funds amounting to a staggering Rs. 33.9 million from the Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (LRDC).

On behalf of all seven accused in the case, it was submitted that the court, established under the Judicature Act as amended does not have jurisdiction to hear the offences on which they have been indicted and moreover the court does not have jurisdiction to try the matter as the offences are not that provided for under the said Act.

However, the order given on February 11 rejected the two objections and scheduled the case to be taken up for trial.

On February 22, as per legal requirement, the accused seeking to file an appeal made an application for permission to appeal before the Permanent High Court at Bar.

This was refused by the Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon (President), Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne.