The Colombo High Court yesterday ordered the release of then-Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and four others in connection with the Greek Bond case, accepting the preliminary objection raised on behalf of the Accused that, the Director G

The CIABOC had filed indictments on March 26, 2024, against then-Governor of the Central Bank Ajith Nivard Cabraal and four others, charging them of causing a loss of Rs.1,843,267 ,595/- to the government by investing in Greek bonds during Greece's severe economic crisis.

When this case was taken for serving the indictment to the Accused on May 3, 2024 a preliminary objection was raised on behalf of the accused, arguing that at the time of signing the indictment, there was no Director General appointed under the new anti-corruption law, which came into effect on September 15th, 2023. Furthermore, the Director General who was before the new law came into effect had no provisions to act continuously until the new appointment is made.

In response said contention on behalf of the Accused, CIABOC submitted that according to Section 163 (h) of the new anti-corruption law, the Director General appointed under the Commission Act No. 19 of 1994, should be considered an official of the Commission from the date the new law became effective and the transitional provisions and savings provisions were provided by the new law for the continuity of Director General until the new appointment is made. Further, CIABOC argued that, the Director General is the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Accounting Officer and responsible officer for all duties necessary to fulfill the objectives of the Act as expressly stated by the new law itself.

Therefore, it was argued on behalf of the Bribery Commission that the legislature when enacting this new law never intended the office of Director General to remain vacant from September 15, 2023 to April 2, 2024 until a new Director General is appointed.

Honorable High Court Judge of High Court No 4 Mr. Adithya Patabndige yesterday upholding the preliminary objection raised on behalf of the Accused, ordered the release of all accused in this case.

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) is expected to take further steps regarding this order after perusing it.

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