Politicians face bribery probe

Politicians face bribery probe

The newly activated Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption has begun investigating complaints against some politicians and high ranking public officials, a Bribery Commission official said yesterday.

“The previous Commission was unable to investigate complaints received from March 28 last year because the term of office of the commissioners had expired. But with the appointment of a new chairman and two members by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Commission can begin investigating the complaints received and legal proceedings instituted where necessary ” Commission’s Director General Lakshmi Jayawickrama said.

She said since the reactivation of the Commission last Monday the investigation branch had conducted three raids and arrested three suspects.

An Police Inspector of the Traffic Branch was arrested when he was caught while allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs.10,000 from a traffic offender; a member of the Nittambuwa police civil security branch was arrested when he was caught while allegedly accepting Rs.3,000 from a bus driver and a Piliyandala police constable was arrested when he was caught while allegedly accepting a bottle of Brandy.

“We will investigate and prosecute offenders if there was sufficient evidence against them notwithstanding their status,” Ms. Jayawickrama said.
She said the Commission was successful when a judgment delivered by the Colombo High Court on the bribery case against the former Defence Minister Anurudha Ratwatta was taken in the Appeal Court.

“The case has now been taken up in the High Court,’ she added.

Ms. Jayawickrama said the Commission has filed 247 cases of bribery and corruption in the High Court, 52 in the Magistrate’s Court and more than 20 revision applications in the Court of Appeal by yesterday.

However, she declined to elaborate on the complaints received by the Commission against politicians and public officials until legal proceedings are initiated in the courts.

Ms. Jayawickrama appealed to the public to assist the Commission to put an end to this social evil that eats into the smooth functioning of public institutions and good governance by lodging complaints against bribery and corruption without fear or favour.

The newly appointed commissioners are former Supreme Court Judge D.J.D.S. Balapatabendi as Chairman with former IGP Jayantha Wickramaratne and former Appeal Court Judge L.K. Wimalachandra as members.


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