Thursday, 13  February 2003  
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CID to probe violation of secrecy laws

by Sarath Malalasekera

The Attorney General has directed the Criminal Investigations Department to probe an allegation that a member of the Bribery Commission violated secrecy provisions in the law governing the workings of the Commission.

Attorney General K.C. Kamalasabeyson PC gave the directive to the CID on an application made by the police.

The probe will be conducted into the alleged conduct of Commissioner Kingsley Wickramasooriya.

The CID was brought into the matter when Interior Minister John Amaratunga forwarded a letter sent to him by Agriculture and Samurdhi Minister S.B. Dissanayake alleging that Wickramasooriya had violated secrecy clauses of the Commission.

Minister Dissanayake has alleged that Commissioner Wickramasooriya met President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga with details of an investigation into Samurdhi funds, along with a police officer.

A group of MPs have now initiated a Parliamentary resolution for the impeachment of Wickramasooriya from the Bribery Commission and claimed to have 76 MPs' signatures calling for his removal. Only 75 signatures are required for such a resolution to be accepted by the Speaker.

The resolution calls on the President to remove Wickramasooriya on the "ground of misconduct" proven in accordance with Section 2 (5) of the Bribery or Corruption Act No.19 of 1994.

The resolution said: "On or about November 7, 2001, the respondent Kinglsey Wickramasooriya did cause K.M. Sarath Nandasena, IP, an officer appointed to assist the Commission to accompany him to meet the President at President's House, Fort and induced the said K.M. Sarath Nandasena to disclose to the President information received by him vis-a-vis the investigation conducted against Minister S.B. Dissanayake and thereby violate the provisions of section 17 of the Bribery or Corruption Act. The respondent is therefore guilty of misconduct and liable to be removed from office as a member of the Commission."

The MPs also stated in the resolution that Wickramasooriya disclosed information received by him regarding the investigation to the President.

They have moved the resolution in terms of the Section 2 (5) of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Council has recommended the appointment of the retired President of the Court of Appeal U. de Z. Gunawaradana to the Bribery Commission to fill the vacancy created by the death of Commissioner T.N. Abeywira.

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