SJB seeks info on CIABOC’s withdrawn cases

  • Files RTI request on ‘tech errors’ post Nov. 2019

BY Pamodi Waravita

The Samagi Jana Balawegeya (SJB) on 7 November filed a Right to Information (RTI) request with the Commission to Investigate into Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) requesting details on all cases that have been withdrawn by the CIABOC since November 2019.

“The CIABOC is not there to just withdraw cases. It is there to investigate them. Since November 2019, there have been a worryingly high number of cases that have been withdrawn by the CIABOC due to, as per my knowledge, technical errors. If there are technical errors, then the cases can be re-filed but we don’t see that happening,” SJB Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman told The Morning.

The RTI request has sought information on all cases withdrawn by the CIABOC since November 2019.

Reportedly, the CIABOC yesterday (9) filed a new indictment against Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Parliamentarian Milan Jayathilake, following the previous indictment against him being withdrawn due to a technical error. Thus, indictments were filed against Jayathilake and an individual named Ajith Sisira Kumara for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs. 600,000 from a businessman whilst they were serving in the Dompe Pradeshiya Sabha in 2012.

Earlier this month, the SJB also filed a RTI application with the Attorney General’s (AG) Department, requesting for information on the indictments that were withdrawn by the AG’s Department since 19 November 2019.

Similarly, last month, the lawyers for the National People’s Power (NPP) raised concerns about the independence of ongoing legal procedures against high-powered individuals, as they claimed that members of the Government or close associates of its leaders are being released from charges by the AG’s Department on an almost weekly basis. The lawyers made these statements following Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s release from his charges regarding the “Divi Neguma” case. Rajapaksa and former Divi Neguma Director General Kithsiri Ranawaka were accused of misappropriating Rs. 36.5 million of state funds to purchase and distribute galvanised iron pipes prior to the Presidential Election in 2015.