Bond scams: Aloysius questioned

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday recorded a statement from Arjun Aloysius. Aloysius (left) leaving CID unit based at the CoI premises accompanied by his lawyers(Pic by Sujatha Jayaratne)

Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd (PTL), who is son-in-law of former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran, reported to the CID unit of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the bond scams yesterday at 8.30 am.

CID officers recorded a statement from him until evening.

He is scheduled to give evidence before the Commission next week.

On Wednesday the Attorney General’s Department informed the Commission that though Aloysius had been summoned by the Commission to give evidence, there was no way the summons could be handed over as all attempts to contact him had failed.

Subsequently, the Commission asked the lawyer appearing for Aloysius, Anuja Preratne, to ask his client to report to the CID unit of the Commission immediately.

Chief Dealer of Perpetual Treasuries Ltd Nuwan Thilina Salgado, giving evidence before the Commission, revealed that on the instructions of Aloysius, the company had been able to make successful bids at the Treasury Bond Auctions.

Commission Chairman Justice K.T. Chitrasiri ordered that former Central Bank Governor Mahendran’s mobile phone and laptop computer be returned as the extraction of data had been completed.

The order was made following a request made by Counsel Chanaka de Silva.

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PTL counsel quits

President’s Counsel Nihal Fernando, appearing for Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Ltd. (PTL) yesterday officially announced that he would cease to represent the PTL forthwith. However, he said, he would remain until PTL CEO Kasun Palisena finished giving evidence.

The following are the excerpts of Counsel Fernando’s statement made before the commission:

“I am grateful to your Lordships for giving me the opportunity to make a statement today, specially in view of the evidence that was led on Monday, which caught me completely unaware.

“Having considered this matter, I wish to say that the instructions that I received are that all tape recordings have been tendered to the Commission.

“However, the evidence led of the two employees of the client is incompatible to the instructions I have received. Therefore, I am not in a position to comment as to what may have happened with the tape recordings or as to the accuracy of the evidence of these two employees or the instructions I received in this regard.

In the circumstances, I do not think it is correct to suggest or to say at this stage that one party is lying, before the Honourble Commission makes a determination after inquiry.

“As much I have informed my instructing attorney of my inability to appear on behalf of the client and I wish to withdraw forthwith. My instructing attorney, in consultation with the client, has informed me in writing of their inability to retain Counsel immediately at this stage.

“In view of the fact that there are six months of proceedings, and the evidence of the CEO, Mt.Kasun Palisena, which I have led and the large number of documents that h ave been produced before this Honourable Commission.

“I am aware of my professional duty to give sufficient time to retain another Counsel, even if a Counsel wishes to withdraw for good cause.

“Having considered the fact that a large number of documents have been marked and the highly technical nature of the evidence led relating to the government securities market, I have informed my instructing attorney that I will continue, at most, only until the evidence of the CEO,Kasun Palisena, who is presently under cross examination is concluded.

“In the circumstances aforesaid, I am informing the Honourable Commission that I will continue only until the evidence of the CEO Kasun Palisena is concluded, and thereafter, I will no longer appear before this honourable Commission on behalf of Perpetual Treasuries Limited.

“At this stage, I also wish to place on record that my instructing Attorney has informed me, that he was totally and absolutely unaware and he had no knowledge whatsoever with regard to the matters that transpired through evidence of the two employees of the Client and that he does not condone the same.”

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PTL IT head, also, given protection

The presidential commission of inquiry probing alleged bond scams yesterday ordered the Witness Protection Division of Sri Lankan Police to provide security to Head of Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Ltd. (PTL) IT division, Sachith Devathanthri.

Commission Chairman Justice K. T. Chitrasiri made this order in response to a request by Assistant Solicitor General Yasantha Kodagoda.

PTL Chief Dealer Nuwan Salgado has already been provided with security.

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CORRECTION

It was inadvertently stated in our main news item yesterday that ‘Salgado told the commission that from 2015 to 2016, the company had recorded an unusually high profit of Rs. 11 billion and the price sensitive confidential information provided by Mahendran had helped them take right decisions in placing bids for Treasury bonds’.

What Salgodo said was that Arjun Aloysius had provided to Perpetual Treasuries price sensitive confidential information received from the Central Bank.

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