Prasanna Appeal for Inquiry

Prasanna Appeal for Inquiry

Minister of Urban Development and Housing Prasanna Ranatunga will have his appeal heard on the 30th of April 2024.

Heis challangeing an suspended imprisonment in connection with an extortion case.

Minister Ranatunga was convicted for the thirteenth count out of fifteen by High Court Judge Manjula Tillekaratne over an indictment filed for threatening a businessman over the phone and demanding Rs. 64 million in 2015. Accordingly, he was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment suspended for five years by the Colombo High Court.

Fine and Jail Sentence 

The Court further ordered the Minister to pay a fine of Rs. 25 million. The thirteenth count had been filed under Section 373 for extortion in order to execute five promissory notes in a dishonest manner after threatening the businessman.
The prosecutors maintained that businessman Gehard Mendis who purchased a 2.5 acre land in Meethotamulla sometime back had allegedly requested the former Chief Minister to evacuate the unlawful occupants of that land and fill it with soil.
The prosecutors alleged that the Minister’s wife along with two others had entered into an agreement with the businessman to run this deal and the latter had already paid Rs.15 million to the former for the services.

Threatening Call 

The businessman Gehard Mendis had lodged a complaint with FCID saying that the former Chief Minister had threatened him over the phone demanding the rest of the money involved in a promised deal.
The prosecution maintained that the investigations have revealed that the accused had misappropriated a sum of Rs.15 million and the voice recordings of the alleged incident had been listed as a production item.

The 52-page judgement notes that the first accused, Mr Ranatunga, compelled the complainant to provide promissory notes to him. There was no evidence that there was agreement between the first accused and the other two accused on this matter.

Undated Cheques 

Mr Ranatunga had threatened the complainant and obtained cheques amounting to Rs 5 million, which he had converted to cash. A further six cheques amounting to Rs 40.2 million in the name of the complainant had been with Mr Ranatunga when he obtained promissory notes from the complainant. Three of the cheques had not been dated, the judgement notes.

The complainant had met the accused regarding a land he owned in Meethotamulla and sought his assistance to remove squatters who were living along the road leading up to his land. The accused had agreed and had taken steps to evict the squatters by providing them with alternate lands.

The land had been developed and sold for Rs 204.8 million, with Rs 64 million in cheques issued by the the company belonging to the complainant.

There had been agreement between Mr Ranatunga and Mr Mendis to share profits from the sale of the land after deducting the money spent. However, Prasanna Ranatunga had threatened the complainant in foul language and demanded money after he couldn’t change some of the cheques issued by Gerad Mendis.

The Defence had been unable to challenge the complainant’s evidence while documentary evidence had also supported this, the judge had noted.




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