Weeratunge, Palpita file appeal against conviction

Weeratunge-Palpita-860-01

Former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga and former Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) Director General Anusha Palpita filed petitions in the Court of Appeal challenging the Order of Colombo High Court sentencing them to three-years-Rigorous Imprisonment by the Colombo High Court for misappropriating Rs. 600 million of funds belonging to TRC.

In the appeal applications filed through Counsel Niroshan Siriwardena, two accused-appellants stated that they were seeking the jurisdiction of Court of Appeal to review and set aside their conviction imposed by the High Court dated September 7. They also stated that neither a sum of Rs.600 million nor a part of it were utilised by them for their personal gain.

Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita were found guilty of misappropriating Rs.600 million of funds belonging to TRC over Controversial Sil Redi (fabrics used by devotees to observe Sil) distribution case.

The High Court Judge further maintained that the accused had committed this offence dishonestly with the intention of gaining undue advantage for a particular candidate during the 2015-Presidential Election. While observing a political motivation had led the accused to commit this offence, Lalith Weeratunga and Anusha Palpita were ordered to pay a compensation of Rs.50 million each to the TRC in lieu of losses incurred contrary to the Telecommunication Act. Each accused were further ordered to pay a fine of two million rupees and in default of the payment of fine they will have to serve additional one year imprisonment.

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