Illness may prevent Gota attending first trial date: Lawyers | Sunday Observer

Illness may prevent Gota attending first trial date: Lawyers

9 June, 2019

Lawyers for Gotabaya Rajapaksa were unable to confirm that the former Defence Secretary would be able to attend the D.A. Rajapaksa museum trial set to begin on June 19 at the Permanent High Court at Bar in Colombo.

Once it begins, the trial will be heard on a daily basis. Speaking to the Sunday Observer, a member of Rajapaksa’s legal team said that he was expected in the country by June 19. “We have requested the court to grant a further extension on his permission to travel. It was extended until June 19,” the lawyer noted. His lawyers told court that Rajapaksa was receiving treatment in Singapore and could not return to the country as scheduled on June 2.

Reports said Gotabaya Rajapaksa (69) was recovering from cardiac surgery at the Mount Elisabeth Hospital in Singapore.

After considering the request by Rajapaksa’s lawyers, the court granted the former defence secretary further leave on medical grounds.

However, the Attorney General has already informed the court in the previous occasion that the absence of Rajapaksa would not be a bar to commence the trial. Rajapaksa and six others were indicted in September last year for misuse of public funds amounting to 33 million rupees in constructing a museum in remembrance of his late parents in Medamulana.

Meanwhile, lawyers for Rajapaksa said he was unlikely to attend the Habeas Corpus inquiry into the disappearance of two human rights activists in Jaffna on June 21.

The Jaffna Magistrate issued summons on the former Defence Secretary, during whose tenure the activists went missing, to give evidence in the Habeas Corpus inquiry into their disappearance.