Ex-president’s son held on money-laundering charge
A SRI Lankan court remanded in custody the eldest son of Sri Lanka’s strongman former president on a fresh money-laundering charge.
Namal Rajapakse, who is a legislator from an opposition faction loyal to his father Mahinda Rajapakse, was remanded in custody for a week in a hearing at a magistrates’ court in the capital in Columbo on August 15.
“The order was given in connection with a new allegation that he was responsible for laundering 45 million rupees [US$310,000] through two of his companies,” a court official said in Colombo.
It is the second such accusation to be filed against Mr Namal, who is also facing separate charges that he accepted more than $500,000 from an Indian company as a kickback to speed up a property development venture in Colombo.
The former president’s younger son, Yoshitha, is facing similar moneylaundering charges over dealings at his private television channel.
In April last year, authorities arrested Mr Mahinda’s younger brother Basil, who was a minister.
The ex-president and his relatives controlled nearly 70 percent of the budget during his rule, which ended in January 2015, when he was defeated at the polls by Maithripala Sirisena.