CIABOC awaits PCoI findings to act

Bond scams

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has ruled out a fresh inquiry into alleged Central Bank-Perpetual Treasuries bond scams until a three-member Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) made its recommendations to President Maithripala Sirisena later this year.

Minister of Fisheries and UPFA Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera complained to the Bribery Commission soon after the massive racket came to light in early 2015though progress of the inquiry was slow. At the time Bribery Commission was headed by Deputy Solicitor General Dilrukshi Wickremasinghe.

An authoritative official told The Island that a parallel CIABOC investigation now could be harmful to the ongoing CoI hence the decision to await the conclusion of the probe. The official was responding to The Island query whether the CIABOC would probe matters relevant to the investigating body that had transpired in the CoI.

The official said that on the basis of the PCoI recommendations, the Attorney General’s Department and the CIABOC could launch investigations.

Secretary to the PCoI, Sumathipala Udugamsuriya yesterday told The Island that he couldn’t ascertain when the report could be finalized. Udugamsuriya said that since the launch of the PCoI, it was now on its third three-month extension received on July 27, 2017.

PCoI sittings commenced in January 2017 nearly two years after the first bond scam committed in late Feb 2015.

Legal sources pointed out that CIABOC’s mandate is comparatively limited when compared with that of the Attorney General. Sources however acknowledged that certain matters that had transpired in the PCoI came within the purview of CIABOC.

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