Sri Lanka's first permanent high court, set up to expedite the high profile corruption cases against former president Mahinda Rajapaksa's administration and his family members, will start hearing cases related to money laundering, graft and financial crimes from July 4, a senior Cabinet minister said today.
Last month, Parliament had passed the Judicature (Amendment) Act, brought by the President Maithripala Sirisena government to pave way for setting up of special high courts to expedite hearing of corruption cases against the Rajapaksha's administration, his family members and their associates.
Many Rajapaksa family members and their associates were tried for alleged corruption following the change of the regime in 2015. But there has been considerable public dissatisfaction over the inordinate delay in trials as the accused, who were arrested, had been released on bail.
Also, the court procedures were taking months to set trial dates, even after three years of the Rajapaksa presidency.
There are accusations that leaders of the current government are having political deals with the Rajapaksas to go slow in legal procedures.
Following the defeat of the ruling coalition in the local polls in February, the government sprung into action to expedite graft cases.
"This government is keen to follow the law by the book, that was why the delay in the cases. Following setting up of new courts, all cases would be heard to a finish without any delay," the spokesman for the ruling UNP and Minister Harin Fernando said.
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