‘ANTI-CORRUPTION HCs WILL CLEAR CASEs’ BACKLOG IN SIX MONTHS’ | Sunday Observer

‘ANTI-CORRUPTION HCs WILL CLEAR CASEs’ BACKLOG IN SIX MONTHS’

‘New mechanism with specific jurisdiction over complex financial crimes’:

‘We are committed to our promise of justice and good governance’:

The new special anti-corruption High Courts would help conclude cases of large scale corruption within six months, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“I am hopeful that the new High Courts on Corruption that have just got Cabinet approval, will help clear the backlog of cases, since they will have specific jurisdiction over complex financial crimes and misappropriation of State assets,” Prime Minister Wickremesinghe told the Sunday Observer.

According to the new legislation, the anti-corruption HCs will comprise three judges who will take up financial fraud, corruption, criminal breach of trust, money laundering, terrorism financing, organised crime, assets and denials of State revenue.

“Justice was the promise of yahapalanaya and we remain committed to living up to this promise. But the people also want to see justice so I am hopeful that within the year, some of the large-scale corruption cases will be tried and concluded,” the Prime Minister said. Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said after the national unity government rose to power in 2015, getting to the bottom of large scale cases of corruption cases was a priority. “At the same time, we need to be cautious that these investigations are not conducted like political witch-hunts and that the due process of the law was followed every step of the way,” the Premier explained. “It is remarkable that a newly established police unit to probe financial crimes has been able to conclude investigations into more than 400 cases. It is a priority for this Government to ensure these cases are expedited. But just as important as speed, is the need to get the process right, so there can be no allegation of bias or malice against political opponents.”

“At the same time,” the Prime Minister said, “it is understandable that people are losing patience and are eager to see justice being served against those who have misappropriated the people’s money.”

 

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