Mahendran’s counsel seeks permission for representations against AG’s lawyers


By Sarath Dharmasena and Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva, who appears for former Governor of the Central Bank Arjuna Mahendran, submitting a motion yesterday, requested the Special Presidential Commission of inquiry probing the alleged bond scam to allow him to make submissions objecting to the manner in which the counsel representing the Attorney General’s Department assisting the Commission were leading evidence.

Head of the team of Counsel representing the AG’s Department Senior Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera PC raised objections, saying that the request was made by the defence counsel only five minutes before the sittings commenced and he needed time.

Chairman of the Commission Justice K. T. Chitrasiri informed the counsel appearing for Arjuna Mahendran that the latter could make his submissions when the Commission resumes sittings on May 15.

When the Commission sat last Friday the defence counsel complained that the lawyers representing the Attorney General’s Department acted in a partial manner. A tense situation arose after Senior Additional Solicitor General de Livera PC and defence counsel entered into a heated argument over the latter’s statement.

The members of the Commission had to intervene and bring the situation under control.

Counsel de Silva submitted three separate motions on behalf of his client Arjuna Mahendran.

The first requests the Commission to obtain copies of minutes of decisions taken by Arjuna Mahendran when he was the Governor of the Central Bank and Chairman of the Monetary Board.

De Silva said on earlier occasion as well he had made the same request to the Commission.

Commission Chairman: The Commission ordered the said copies on the same day you made the request from the Monetary Board of the Central Bank. We will remind them.

Defence Counsel de Silva: Request them to release the requested copies as soon as possible.

The second motion submitted by de Silva asked for copies of evidence recorded since the commencement of Commission sittings.

Justice Chithrasiri: The Commission cannot deliver all at once as there are confidential documents as well among them. Name the documents the defence needs and we will consider whether they can be released.

The commission comprises Justice K. T. Chithrasiri, Chairman, Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and former Deputy Auditor General P. Kandasamy.

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