Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 05 June 2016





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Government Gazette

AG to fast track big corruption cases

The Attorney General’s Department has been instructed to prioritize prosecutions on large scale corruption cases. This comes in the wake of President Maithripala Sirisena instructing the AG’s Department to fast track high profile cases and large scale fraud.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne told the Sunday Observer that there was undue delay on the part of the AG’s Department regarding large scale fraud cases involving Ministers of the former regime.

“The President has instructed that major scandals during the last regime must be prioritized. The Attorney General said there were about 8000 files pending. What we want is files dealing with huge scandals to be processed fast and action taken,” he said.

The AG’s Department came under fire for going slow on high profile cases of the last regime. The Department has sighted a backlog as being the cause for the delay. However, the Minister insisted that there were deliberate attempts to cause delays.

“The AG’s Department is delaying some cases on purpose. Now under the new AG, cases are being processed, but he needs a bit of time to get through the backlog,” Minister Seneratne said.

A senior official of the Department said they have been instructed by the President “to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in processing cases.”

Senaratne and three other Ministers submitted a Cabinet paper three weeks ago, calling for a full report on investigations. However, the President dismissed the idea of facilitating a meeting with officials responsible for investigations to obtain an update.

“Delays in investigations regarding huge scams is a serious problem. When there are cases against them for fraud amounting to billions, investigators were chasing after smaller frauds of a few millions.

If investigations are not carried out properly, the public will also lose faith in the investigations and assume that these are baseless allegations. That’s exactly what the Opposition want. They insist that these are baseless allegations,” he said.

According to Minister Senaratne, investigators claim that they have carried out investigations and were awaiting the AG’s instructions and the delay was solely on the part of the AG’s Department.


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