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Magistrate Refuses To Issue Warrant Against Udayanga Weeratunga

Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne denied the request by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) of the Police, to issue a warrant on Udayanga Weeratunga.

At the hearing on July 15, the FCID requested Magistrate Jayaratne to issue a warrant through the Interpol to arrest Weeratunga who is charged with financial misappropriation.

The Magistrate had fixed July 18 (today) to consider the request by the prosecuting FCID. The request was rejected however, on grounds that the warrant issued on Weeratunga did not follow proper procedure.

The FCID had previously issued warrant on the former Ambassador to Russia via email.

Magistrate Jayaratne had also advised the FCID to issue the warrant on Weeratunga through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Weeratunga does not currently reside in the country.

The Magistrate ordered the Sri Lanka Air Force to present legal documents pertaining to the alleged misappropriation at the next hearing, fixed for September 25.

Weeratunga is alleged to have committed financial misappropriation to the tune of US$ 14 million while purchasing four Ukraine-built MIG-27 aircraft for the Sri Lanka Air Force in 2005.