The Colombo Fort Magistrate yesterday re-sent a reminder to the Attorney General directing him to expedite legal advice regarding National Freedom Front leader MP Wimal Weerawansa for allegedly misusing 40 vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the government. When the case came up before Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, the Court was informed that the FCID was yet to receive Attorney General’s advice regarding the two suspects.
The FCID has sought the Attorney General’s advice regarding future legal action against two suspects, Wimal Weerawansa and Samantha Lokuhennadige under Reference Number CRS/14/17.
They are currently out on bail. Further magisterial inquiry fixed for November 19 and the prosecution was directed to report the progress of the inquiry on next hearing date.
The FCID conducting investigations into the alleged misuse of state vehicles had informed Court that Weerawansa had given his written and verbal approval to the commission to commit these offences under Public Property Act and Penal Code while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister.
“These vehicles had been given to the SEC on a rental basis to carry out ministerial functions."
"However, the vehicles in question had been given to five relatives of the former minister including his sister."
"Ten other vehicles were given to 10 officials of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna and the other vehicles were given to his staff members who were not entitled to receive them,” the FCID had told Court.
The FCID alleged that Weerawansa had given these vehicles for the use of his close relatives and private staff members without Treasury approval during 2010 to 2015.
However, the defence had denied the allegations and informed Court that the FCID is conducting a politically motivated inquiry to punish the government’s political opponents.
The FCID had filed a ‘B’ report in Court against Weerawansa alleging that he misused 40 vehicles while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the state.
Counsel Kapila Gamage appeared for MP Wimal Weerawansa.