National Freedom Front leader MP WimalWeerawansa arrested and remanded for allegedly misusing 40 vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) yesterday filed a fresh bail application in the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court citing his 15-year-old daughter’s mental health condition be considered as an exceptional circumstance to release him on bail.
Wimal Weerawansa had been remanded till April 3 by Colombo Fort Magistrate for allegedly misusing 40 vehicles belonging to the State Engineering Corporation (SEC) while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the government.
Filing a motion before Fort Magistrate Ms. Lanka Jayaratne, President’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe with counsel Kapila Gamage moved Court that their client be released on bail taking into consideration his daughter’s mental health condition as exceptional circumstance.
“She was admitted to the Ragama Hospital and later transferred to the Lady Ridgeway Hospital.
Her mental health condition has been getting worse owing to the impact of separation between father and daughter over a period of two months,” defence counsel added.
Defence counsel further tendered in Court several medical certificates pertaining to the health condition of Weerawansa’s daughter.
The Magistrate announced that she would make an appropriate order in this regard on April 3. Weerawansa was arrested by the FCID on January 10 under Public Property Act charges.
On January 24, the Magistrate refused to enlarge the former Minister on bail observing that the evidence presented before Court have proved that former Minister Weerawansa had intentionally given these vehicles to his close relatives and his party activists while they were not holding any position at the SEC.
The Magistrate further observed that it is apparent that the former Minister has intentionally and dishonestly misappropriated these vehicles by entrusting them to his close relatives and party activists.
Meanwhile, on March 21, the Colombo High Court had dismissed the revision application filed by MP Wimal Weerawansa observing that the Colombo Fort Magistrate’s order of rejecting bail was correct in law. The FCID conducting investigations into the alleged misuse of state vehicles had informed Court thatWeerawansa had given his written and verbal approval to the commission to commit these offences while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister.
“These vehicles had been given to the SEC on a rental basis to carry out ministerial functions. However, the vehicles in question had been given to five relatives of the former minister including his sister.
Ten other vehicles were given to 10 officials of the Jathika Nidahas Peramuna and the other vehicles were given to his staff members who were not entitled to receive them,” the FCID had told Court.
The FCID alleged that Weerawansa had given these vehicles for the use of his close relatives and private staff members without Treasury approval during 2010 to 2015.
However, the defence had denied the allegations and informed Court that the FCID is conducting a politically motivated inquiry to punish the government’s political opponents.
The FCID had filed a B report in Court againstWeerawansa alleging that he misused 40 vehicles while functioning as the Housing, Construction and Engineering Services Minister incurring a loss of Rs. 91 million to the state