Neil Bandara Hapuhinna, the third defendant of the case filed against the former President’s Chief of Staff Gamini Senarath and three others, has been acquitted by the Permanent High Court at Bar (Special High Court).
The case was taken up before the Special High Court Judges Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne, and Champa Janaki Rajaratne today (27). Defence attorneys had previously sought the acquittal of the defendants, stating that the indictments against their clients were proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Delivering the verdict regarding the request made by the defence, Special High Court Judge Sampath Abeykoon announced that the third defendant of the case would be acquitted today without calling defence evidence.
However, the Special HC judge stated that defence evidence would be called for the other three defendants of the case including Gamini Senarath, in order to make certain clarifications regarding the evidence laid against them.
Further hearing of the case was accordingly postponed to May 06th. Representing Gamini Senarath, President’s Counsel Ali Sabry requested the court to temporarily lift the overseas travel ban imposed on his client as he is slated to travel to Singapore and Dubai from April 10th to May 05th.
Accordingly, the Special High Court decided to allow the former President’s Chief of Staff to travel abroad as per the request made by his attorney. The Attorney General had filed the case against the defendants under the Public Property Act for allegedly misappropriating Rs 500 million funds belonging to Litro Gas Lanka by investing in ventures including the Helanko Hotels & Spa hotel project from 1st February 2014 to 20th January 2015.