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Gota’s trial may finally begin

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been ducking and weaving filing numerous petitions before several courts to delay the misappropriation trial.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa walks out of the Special High Court in Hulftsdorp surrounded by bodyguards/RepublicNext

Presidential hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s misappropriation trial will finally begin hearings in the Special High Court Trial-at-Bar after the Supreme Court in a split decision has rejected an application made by him halt hearings.

The decision made yesterday 11 Sept where three of the five Justices held against Rajapaksa allows the Special High Court Trial-at-Bar hearing the case to begin their work on October 15 and hear the case to its conclusion.

Rajapaksa had submitted that the indictments filed against were incorrect in law and asked the Apex Court to dismiss the charges.

The five Justices who heard Rajapaksa’s petition were Sisira de Abrew – President, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna Jayawardena, Vijith Malalgoda and L T B Dehideniya.

Justice de Abrew said the judges had rejected the petition as there was no legal foundation for it.

Rajapaksa’s lawyers have been ducking and weaving through the courts preventing this case from coming to trial filing numerous petitions at all levels of the court to delay the hearings.

The case will controversially be heard as the Presidential Election campaign heats up with Rajapaksa a serious candidate. In case he wins the Presidency and the case has not been completed, then he automatically gets immunity as the Chief Executive.

In this case, Rajapaksa and six others are facing charges of misusing public funds to the tune of nearly Rs.33.9 million, with which a memorial and museum were built in honour of Rajapaksa’s parents at Weeraketiya in Medamulana.

Other than Rajapaksa all the other accused are former members of the Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka Land Reclamation and Development Corporation (SLLRDC). The memorial was constructed by the Sri Lanka Navy allegedly using funds from SLLRDC.