2ND LEAD

CID arrests Sooriyarachchi

[TamilNet, Saturday, 17 March 2007, 09:34 GMT]
Sri Lankan Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested Sripathy Sooriyarachchi Saturday in Colombo following his summon for investigation into alleged misuse of a government vehicle after his removal from the ministerial portfolio. The arrest comes after Mr. Sooriyarachchi, the former non cabinet minister of port development, who was sacked by the SL President Mahinda Rajapakse, exposed an alleged scandal by Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, the brother of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse, involving Rs.600 million in the purchase of Russian-made MIG fighter and weapons.

Sripathy Sooriyarachchi
Mr. Sooriyarachi was produced before the Colombo Additional Magistarte Gihan Pilapitiya and remanded till 20 March.

Before presenting himself to the CID around 9:15 am, he told media that the vehicle was handed over to the government under proper procedures.

Previously, the Kaduwala Additional Magistrate Lakmal Wickramasooriya, Friday granted permission to the CID to investigate and obtain statement from Sooryarachchi, following the examination on a B report.

According to the report, the former minister has returned his ministerial vehicle (GA3040-Jeep) on the 03 March.

Assistant Sub Inspector of the CID D.Gajatheera submitting his statement to the court house said it was confirmed through evidence that the former minister has "misused" the vehicle from the day of his removal from the ministry to the day he handed over the vehicle, and requested the Magistrate to grant permission to obtain a statement.

Sooriyarachchi is one of the three-sacked ministers by President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Other two were Mangala Samaraweera and Anura Bandaranaike.

Anura Bandaranaike later reconciled with Mahinda Rajapakse and took again oaths as Minister for National Heritage. However Mangala Samaraweera has been critical of the present government.

Mangala Samaraweera and Sripathi Sooriyarachchi were removed the party organizers' posts Thursday


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