Sri Lanka Chief Justice withdraws from Greek bond case

Sri Lanka Chief Justice withdraws from Greek bond case

Sri Lanka’s new Chief Justice Mohan Peiris has withdrawn himself from the bench scheduled to hear a petition filed by an opposition United National Party parliamentarian.

When the Fundamental Rights petition filed by UNP parliamentarian Sujeewa Senasinghe on the Greek Bond investment was taken up for hearing, the Chief Justice has informed the Court that he will vacate the bench hearing the case on a request made by the petitioner’s counsel Upul Jayasuriya.

The bench comprised the Chief Justice, and Justices Nimal Gamini Amaratunga and Sathya Hettige.

The petitioner’s counsel has produced the Annual Report of Central Bank, which states that the Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was a consultant to the Central Bank in 2008.

The petitioner in his petition has stated that the Central Bank on April 5, 2011 had invested in Greek Government bonds which had a face value of euro 30,000,000 for euro 22,163,500 (Rs.3,472,576,045).

The petitioner has noted that it is apparent that the bonds were trading below the face value, entailed a realizable value far below the Market Value of the secondary Market due to the debt crisis the government of Greece was saddled in, and the said Bonds were purchased through the intermediaries paying a high price when the actual value was far below the price that was paid for the purchase.

The petitioner has also stated that this investment has been carried out at the behest of the 1st and 3rd respondents in an arbitrary manner with callous disregard to the citizenry of Sri Lanka with corrupt and malicious intent of personal gain as these two respondents are on the Monetary Board by virtue of their official status as the Governor of the Central Bank and the Secretary to the Treasury whose official duties encompass exercising due diligence and care in matters of such importance on a continuing basis.

The respondents in the petition include the Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral, Finance Ministry Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, and Minister for International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama and the Attorney General.

The Chief Justice postponed the next hearing for 5 May, and ordered a new bench to be appointed, excluding him.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 12:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

/ English

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