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Court orders Jaliya to be admitted to private hospital

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – The Colombo High Court yesterday issued an order directing the Prison authorities that former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya be admitted to a private hospital in Colombo from the Colombo National Hospital where he was being treated for a number of ailments including a heart decease.

High Court Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne made this order taking into consideration a request made by Jaliya Wickramasuriya through a bail revision application. The Court further ordered the Prison Authorities to provide protection around the clock to the suspect at the private hospital. This revision petition is to be taken up for objections on February 28. Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Jaliya Wickramasuriya arrested for allegedly misappropriating USD 330,000 out of USD 6.6 million allocated for purchasing a building for the Sri Lankan Embassy, had been ordered to be further remanded till February 23 by Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court.

The suspect was brought to the Court premises by prison officials in an ambulance and subsequently brought to the Court room in a hospital patient bed. Filing this bail revision petition in the High Court, President’s Counsel Shavendra Fernando moved to revise the Fort Magistrate’s order to refuse bail for the suspect on a number of occasions. The defence had moved Magistrate’s Court that the suspect’s health condition (heart patient) be also considered as an exceptional circumstance to release the suspect on bail.

While refusing to grant bail, the Magistrate further observed that the suspect’s health condition cannot be considered as an exceptional circumstance since the Colombo National Hospital can provide treatment for such an illness.

The FCID alleged that the suspect had misappropriated the amount during the purchase of a building to house the Sri Lankan embassy at 3025, White Haven Street, Washington 2008. The former ambassador had remitted this money to Sri Lanka. The former ambassador is a close relative of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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