Bond scams probe:
AG’s Dept. given one week to probe PTL bond deals further

* Commission sittings to resume on Aug. 25
* State counsel praised by commissioners

By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatte and Sarath Dharmasena

Sittings of the presidential commission of inquiry probing the alleged bond scams have been put off till August 25 in view of further investigations to be conducted. This decision was announced by Commission Chairman Justice K. T. Chitrasiri when the commission resumed sittings yesterday.

The commission granted a request made by Senior Additional Solicitor General (SASG) Dappula de Livera, PC for time for investigations.

SASG de Livera told the Commission that time was needed in view of the sheer magnitude of materials in 10 box-files from Perpetual Treasures Pvt Ltd. and 240,000 PTL voice recordings to be investigated besides a large number of documents and evidence given by PTL CEO Kasun Palisena to be studied. He said further investigations had to be conducted in respect of Palisena as well.

SASG de Livera requested the commission to provide at least one week for that purpose.

At this juncture commission Chairman Justice Chitrasiri told de Livera to inform the commission if the AG’s Dept. managed to complete the investigations earlier.

De Livera said it was very unlikely.

The Counsel appearing for Arjuna Mahendran and PTL Ltd didn't object to the request made by the AG’s Department.

Commission member Justice Prasanna Jayawardene said the Commission really appreciated the work done by the AG’s Dept. personnel and their dedication.

Chairman Justice Chitrasiri asked President’s Counsel Anjuja Premaratne appearing for Arjun Aloysius and W. M. Mendis Company why the documents required by the commission had not been submitted yet. He said only the balance sheet for one year had been handed over. Premaratne said his client had submitted the balance sheet and the banks had been requested to issue the relevant statements.

Justice Chitrasiri said the commission needed other documents such as income and expenditure details and they had to be submitted. Counsel Premaratne said he would inform his client of the commission directive and provide the required documents.

Justice Chitrasiri wanted to know whether bank statements, too, would be submitted. Counsel Premaratne said there were 12 accounts with different banks and bank statements would be submitted to the commission within one week.

Justice Jayewardena asked PTL CEO Palisena what had been done to the money paid the Perpetual Asset Management company. The latter said the money had been given to a PTL subsidiary, called Perpetual Equities Pvt. Company Ltd, which bought shares of the National Development Bank (NDB), Central Finance and Lanka Ashok Leyland.

Palisena said dividends amounting to Rs. 348 million had been paid to Perpetual Capital Holdings Pvt. Ltd. The commission wanted to know who the owners of the company were. Palisena said they were Jeff Aloysius and Arjun Aloysius.

Justice Jayawardena asked Palisena whether he knew what had happened to those funds. The latter answered in the negative.

The commission is scheduled to resume its sittings on August 25 at 10.00 am with PTL CEO Palisena further testifying.

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