AG says former Governor and some CB officials should be held responsible


By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the alleged bond scam yesterday said that then Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran and some of the bank officials who worked during his tenure should be held responsible for not preventing the losses incurred by the controversial bond issue.

Wijesinghe told the Commission that what was stated to the Commission had been included in the special audit report on the particular bond issue.

He said he had mentioned that in the special audit report on the treasury bond auctions held on February 27, 2016 and March 29,2016 and it had been possible to avoid the loss of an estimated Rs. 16,742,056,805, but the Governor and the officers had failed to do so.

The Auditor General told the Commission that he had further stated in his special audit report that the then Governor had not acted with the professional acumen expected of the head of a Central Bank.

The Auditor General, drawing the attention of the Commission to what he called another special factor, said that he had prepared the special audit report on the bond scam only within the confines of the powers vested in him and within the limits of the subject.

He said he had not examined whether any illegal activity had taken place and that could not be determined by the Auditor General and, therefore, he had recommended that if the Commission felt that any such investigation was necessary it should seek the services of specialised institutions concerned.

Cross-examined by the Commission members, Wijesinghe said that the investigation into the bond scam should continue and he had only done his job.

The AG told the Commission that the Central Bank should have obtained loans at the lowest cost, but it failed to do so.

Senior Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana led Auditor General’s evidence yesterday.

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