Thousands of e-mails in CD titled as mail backup have to be investigated, FCID tells Court
The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) submitted to Court transcripts of electronic mail (e-mail) exchanged between the main accused Yoshitha Rajapaksa and the former Secretary to the Ministry of Mass Media and Information in the CSN money laundering case when it was taken up for hearing before Kaduwela Magistrate Dhammika Hemapala on Thursday.
The FCID submitted that it is in the process of securitising hundreds of e-mails found in a CD under a folder maintained as “Mail backup for Mr.Yoshitha” which contained 4,926 e-mails and 12,000 documents saved as attachments.
The e-mails are being analysed by the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) of the National Centre for Cyber Security, the FCID informed court.
When the case was taken up, counsel for the five accused in the case, namely Yoshitha Rajapaksa, CSN network’s former CEO Nishantha Ranatunga, CSN Director Rohan Welivita, who also functioned as Media Secretary to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and two CSN directors Ashan Fernando and Kavishan Dissanayake applied for bail.
The fourth accused in the case Kavishan Dissanayaka was not present in court as he had met with an accident and was receiving treatment at the Colombo National Hospital, court was informed.
The suspects were refused bail by the Magistrate and their remand order was extended till February 25.
The former President as well as several members of his family and several MPs were present in Court when the suspects were brought from the Welikada Prison for the court hearing.
They were led inside the courthouse in handcuffs and had the cuffs removed after they took their place in the dock .Security was beefed up around the court premises with Police and Special Task Force (STF) personnel deployed.
During Thursday’s hearing, the relevant files were handed over to the Court by Deputy Solicitor General Kusitha Mudalige on behalf of ASP Anura Premaratne of the FCID.
The FCID has told Court that it has to investigate some 4,926 mail and some 12,000 annexures with the relevant information found in a CD titled as ” mail backup for Yoshitha” which had been found in the Carlton Sports Complex by the FCID.
Information pertaining to a draft Cabinet Paper No: 5/12/ 2011 under confidential cover had been found in an e-mail sent by the former Mass Media Ministry Secretary W.B.Ganegala on July 22, 2011, addressed to the e-mail of Yoshitha.
The FCID also informed Court that it possessed all the relevant documentation connected to this e-mail sent by CEO Nishantha Ranatunga in response to the e-mail of Yoshitha Rajapaksa which read as “It’s better to include ACC and ICC and SLC in the Cabinet Paper.
Also ICC has recently given rights to private media institutions and hit SLC…” FCID further briefed the Court that a statement had been taken from the former Mass Media Ministry Secretary Ganegala.
The CID also informed Court that Prisons officials have found a ‘Nokia’ type mobile phone adjoining the cell where the suspects had been held in custody. Police suspect that the suspects would have used the phone, and investigations are underway to ascertain this.
The FCID informed Court that the private phones used by the suspects at the time of arrest have been sent for technical investigations.
Attorney Jayantha Weerasinghe, appearing for the suspects said they could not be held responsible for items found in the cells adjoining those in which his clients are held and they would not be answerable for such items.
Attorney Rienzi Arsecularatne appearing on behalf of a finance company named by the Police as the eighth respondent in this case said the CSN had requested Rs. 50 million in May 2011.
The finance company had released the Rs 50 million keeping the deposit certificate as security placed by the CSN. It was a business operation by the finance company.
We have released the funds as requested by CSN, Counsel Arsecularatne said. He said it was a normal financial transaction and requested Court for a detailed report in this connection.