August will be a historic month.

Special Court not necessary to investigate mega corruption, High Courts can do the job : says Rajitha

With less than two weeks to go for the end of August, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that this month would prove to be historic.

Decisive decisions would be taken on behalf of the people, with regard to mega corruption cases and murders involving high profile persons before the end of August, Senaratne said on Friday.” History will be created this month. The process has just begun.”

The minister said that  he had been falsely accused of having called for the establishment of a Special Court to investigate massive corruption.

There was a  proposal before Cabinet to establish a Special Court to investigate around 75 cases pertaining to mega corruption and  criminal cases, most of which were against some members of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family and his government, which were stuck at the Attorney General’s Department for nearly two years despite inquiries being completed.

But there was no need to resort to Special Courts  as the Cabinet of Ministers had agreed to increase the number of High Courts and convert a few of them into Trial-at-Bars without having to amend the constitution, he explained.

This method, Senaratne noted was already part of the country’s judicial system. “The only change that would be effected is to have a few courts that would conduct only trials at bar proceedings on a permanent basis and not against the Rajapaksas alone. We will ensure distributive justice as opposed to   selective justice that the Rajapaksas practised.”

He pointed out that a serious criminal case generally took over ten years to complete, but a Trial at Bar sitting on a daily basis could finish a case in about two months. “There is a conspiracy to  drag the criminal cases against the Rajapaksas until 2020, hoping that they would be back in power by then. But the people having suffered under a  ruthless family dictatorship, will not permit them to return.”

Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe without suggesting a way to clear the backlog of high profile criminal cases, had objected to the Special Court proposal saying a constitutional amendment was required to establish it, Senaratne said. “Ministers are expected to provide solutions to issues and not be wasting time by lecturing as to why something could not be done. Nakedness cannot be hidden with a loin cloth.”

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