Thursday, 2 September 2004  
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Abdul Cader refused bail, re-remanded

by Sarath Malalasekera

The Samurdhi Society Development Fund was established with Rs. 20 million Government funds through an Act of Parliament. Therefore any person violating or misappropriating the Samurdhi Society Development Funds comes within the ambit of Public Property Act, said Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Sarojini Kusala Weerawardena refusing an application for bail in respect of former UNP Co-operative Minister and Parliamentarian A.R.M. Abdul Cader yesterday morning.

The suspect was re-remanded till September 15. In the nine typed-pages order refusing Cader's bail application, the judge observed that investigators had taken in the suspect under the Public Property Act and obtained statements from a number of trustees of mosques in the Kandy District who had stated that they had not received any samba rice for their festival season.

The order stated that perusing the 10 affidavits obtained by the trustees of mosques in the Kandy District, submitted by the senior defence counsel to court, had stated that they had received samba rice during the festival season. But the court has a doubt whether these affidavits had been obtained under duress, because some trustees had told the investigators earlier that they never received any rice for the festival.

Therefore the court could not accept the affidavits forwarded to court on behalf of the suspect, the order stated.

The order dealing with suspect's medical condition stated that the prison authorities had been directed to refer the suspect to the Colombo National Hospital if he needs specialised medical treatment.

Cader is remanded in connection with the criminal misappropriation of Rs.1 million of Samurdhi funds. The Samurdhi Society Development Funds come under the Samurdhi Act and not under a separate act, the order stated.

According to the 'B' report filed before court by the investigators, the suspect had obtained Rs. 1 million from the Samurdhi Society Development Fund to purchase 690 bags of samba-rice to be distributed among 11 mosques in the Kandy District.

"It is very unfair to keep a suspect in remand for a longer period. Therefore investigators should complete the probe as early as possible and submit a report to court," the Judge told the investigators present in court yesterday.

The Judge told Defence Counsel Iqbal Mohamed that the earlier court order, that the suspect could attend Parliament stands.

Senior State Counsel Priyantha Nawanna with ASP C.V. Widisinghe and Inspector Ruwan Gunasekera appeared for the State.

President's Counsel Daya Perera with President's Counsel Srinath Perera, M. Iqbal Mohamed, Anuja Premaratne, Niroshana Perera, Sampath Mendis, Gamini Pitipana and Gamini Dharmadasa appeared for Cader.

UNP Parliamentarian A.H.M. Azwer was present during the proceedings.

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