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Greek bonds: CIABOC to refile charges against Central Bank’s former governor

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By Ranjith Padmasiri

The Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) has decided to refile indictments against former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal on charges of causing a loss of Rs. 1.84 billion to the government by investing in Greek bonds during Greece’s severe economic crisis, Commission sources said.

Mr. Cabraal was released from the case on a technicality after the Colombo High Court upheld a preliminary objection raised by his lawyers regarding the appointment of the CIABOC’s Director General at the time indictments were filed. Several accused in other cases had been released earlier after the Bribery Commission was forced to withdraw those cases following a technical issue that arose over the appointment of the Commission’s Director General and the adoption of the new Anti-Corruption Act.

Raising the preliminary objection, Mr. Cabraal’s lawyers argued that at the time of signing the indictment, there was no Director General appointed to the Bribery Commission under the new Anti-Corruption Act, which came into effect on September 15, 2023. They argued that the person who was the Director General of CIABOC before the new law came into effect had no provisions to act continuously until the new appointment was made.

At present, three fundamental rights petitions are pending in the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of the present Director General of CIABOC. The court is due to consider the petitions on June 19.

The technical issue for the CIABOC’s cases has arisen as the Anti-Corruption Act does not explicitly mention a situation where a Director General has not been appointed. Accordingly, the Commission is planning to resolve these issues and file the indictments again.

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