Former Minister Johnston Fernando and two others were remanded yesterday by Kurunegala High Court Judge Menaka Wijesundara in connection with the misappropriation of Rs. 5.2 million in public funds, until completion of the hearing.
The three suspects in the Lak Sathosa financial misappropriation case, former Cooperatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando and two others were remanded when the case came before the Kurunegala High Court.
The Kuruengala District Member of Parliament along with former Lak Sathosa Chairman K.M. Fernando and the former Minister’s Private Secretary Raj Mohideen Mohamod Sakeer were also served with indictments for aiding and abetting to commit this offence.
The three suspects are charged under the Public Property Act.
According to the Court, Fernando as the Minister in charge of the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) had allegedly ordered that goods worth over Rs. 5.2 million be released from three CWE warehouses in Yanthampalawa, Wehera and Mallawapitiya in the Kurunegala District during the North Western Provincial Council Election in September 2013.
The former Minister and two others were arrested by the Financial Crime Investigations Division (FCID) on May 5, 2015. In 2015, he arrived at the FCID to give a statement on complaints of financial fraud at Lak Sathosa.
He was released on bail by former Kurunegala High Court Judge Sunanda Kumara Rathnayake on May 28, 2015.
President’s Counsel Kalinga Indatissa appeared for the suspect with the assistance of Attorney Rashmi Kalinga Indatissa and Resan Widhanagamage.
They were remanded until the verdict will be delivered. Tight security was deployed in and around the Court premises. The case will be consecutively heard from September 11.