High Profile White collar crimes Won’t keep cases for next Govt Lakshman Yapa AG to finalize requisite amendments by Feb

BY Kavindya Chris Thomas

All high profile financial misappropriation and corruption cases would be resolved by 2020,once most of the judicial amendments are finalized in February and it is presented to Parliament for approval in early March.

State Minister of Public Enterprise Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardene, addressing the media yesterday (24), said that in order to prevent another Government from ‘inheriting’ the same criminal or civil cases, all such cases will be resolved by 2020.

According to him, the Draft of a Bill to establish a Special High Court, to accelerate legal proceedings related to financial crimes, bribery and corruption allegations and many other amendments to the law will be finalized by the Attorney General’s Department during the next month, in order for it to be presented to the Parliament for approval.

“The Parliament cannot afford to debate this. If any Parliamentarian stands against these amendments and Bills, it will be a black mark against his/her party because these amendments are being brought to punish the wrongdoers. By 2020, all of these cases will be resolved so that another Government does not have to inherit the same problems like we did,” he opined.

The Cabinet acknowledged Bill, prepared by the Legal Draftsman’s Department to amend the Judicature Act, No. 2 of 1978 to establish a three-Judge High Court Bench to advance the proceedings of cases related to complex financial crimes, and bribery and corruption allegations, is currently with the Attorney General’s Department, pending clearance. The Bill will determine the nature of the crime, the severity, the complexity, the impact on the Government and the victims, and on national welfare, in order to assist the procedures followed by the Attorney General and the Director General of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Accordingly, numerous amendments to the law, which were recommended in the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry, that probed the issuance of Treasury Bonds at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, have also been referred to the Attorney General’s Department for review.

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