Makewitage Lakshman Pathiraja Samarasinghe was indicted before the Colombo High Court under the provisions of the Bribery Act for the solicitation and acceptance of a bribe of Rs 25,000 from an individual to award tenders for the renovation of the Udagama, Thambadiya and Evitigala roads within the Warakapola PS area between January 01 and 31 in 1995.
The verdict was delivered on October 29, 2009 by the Colombo High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa following an extensive hearing, and the accused was sentenced to 18 years of rigorous imprisonment and also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 15,000 and a penalty of Rs 25,000.
The accused had filed an appeal on March 20, 2010 with the Court of Appeal against the verdict. However, the High Court’s sentence was upheld by the Appeals Court.
The case was taken up before Colombo High Court Judge Shashi Mahendran to deliver the verdict of the Appeals Court.
However, a letter submitted by the Presidential Secretariat on April 29 stating that the President, using powers vested in him under Article 34 (1) of the Constitution, has granted a general pardon annulling the High Court verdict and was produced before the court.
Accordingly, the court ordered to release the defendant as per the letter.