Basil to stay in Merchant Ward
Former Economic Development Minister, MP Basil Rajapaksa will
continue to remain in the Merchant Ward, Colombo General Hospital as
further treatment has been deemed necessary for his back problem, his
lawyer Udaya Rohan de Silva said.
Rajapaksa had slipped in the Remand Prison on the night of April 22,
which aggravated his back pain for which he was undergoing treatment
during the past few years, de Silva said.
"At the moment an orthopaedic specialist is treating my client. He
has advised my client not to stand for a long time, until the problem is
brought under control," he added.
However, the medical report by the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer (JMO)
to the Kaduwela Magistrate has revealed that Basil Rajapaksa was not
suffering from any illness. Referring to the JMO's report, de Silva said
the JMO referred only to his heart condition, which was under control.
The accusations against Rajapaksa were based on complaints on the
alleged misuse of 'Divi Neguma' funds. Police Spokesman ASP, Ruwan
Gunasekara said four separate cases were being investigated. One
investigation was on complaint number FCID/02A/15 made on February 28 on
compensation and gratuity payments for Rs.1.73 million when the Divi
Neguma project was converted into a Department.
The second was on the house renovation project under Divi Neguma -
Rs.2.99 million - FCID/02B/15. The third was on allegations of printing
the New Year almanac at a cost of Rs.29.4 million as part of the recent
presidential election propaganda.
The fourth was on spending Rs.63.7 million on the Divi Neguma
national convention during the election period.
De Silva said that compensation and gratuity payments cannot be
categorised as using public funds as his client as the then Minister in
charge only submitted a paper seeking Cabinet approval for the payments
and monetary deposits by the Divi Neguma beneficiaries were not used for
Police Spokesman, ASP Gunasekara said as Rajapaksa was arrested under
the Public Property Act, the decision as to whether the offence is
bailable or non-bailable is at the magistrates discretion.
Basil Rajapaksa was arrested on April 22 by the FCID and was produced
before the Kaduwela Magistrate who remanded him till May 5.
The Former Secretary to the now defunct Ministry of Economic
Development, Nihal Jayathilake, Former Divi Neguma Department Director
General R.R.K. Ranawaka and the Additional Director General Bandula
Thilakasiri were also taken in for questioning over misappropriation of
funds. The four suspects were remanded until May 20. -DY