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Gota challenges the right of the Trial-at-Bar to hear his case

Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa leaves the Special Trial-at-Bar court on March 1st after hearings/Picture by Sisira Kumara RepublicNext

A Petition challenging the right of the Special three-member Trial-at –Bar to hear the case against former Secretary to the Ministry of Defense Gotabaya Rajapaksa with regard to the misuse of public funds came before the Supreme Court today.

In this case, Rajapaksa and six others are charged with spending Rs. 35 million of public funds to build a memorial to the Rajapaksa patriarch former Minister D A Rajapaksa.

Rajapaksa challenged the right of the Trial-at-Bar to hear the case but the court rejected it. He has now taken the matter to the Supreme Court.

Appearing for the Attorney General, Senior Additional Solicitor General Priyantha Nawana told the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court that he would file preliminary objections to the petition.

He told the court that the petitioner could challenge a final order or a determination of the court, but not this decision.

Rajapaksa’s attorney, Romesh De Silva PC said that a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court could make a determination.

The judges hearing the case, Buveneka Aluwihare, L T P Dehideniya, and Preethi Padman Surasena fixed the next hearing to July 18.

Rajapaksa’s misappropriation case is due to be heard by the Trial-at-Bar from June 19 onwards.