Sri Lanka’s special court to begin hearing high-profile graft cases

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Colombo, July 15 (IANS) A newly set-up special court of Sri Lanka will on Monday begin hearing high-profile bribery and corruption cases including those against members of the former government, authorities said on Sunday.

It comprises three High Court Judges, Sampath Abeykoon, Sampath Wijeratne and Champa Janaki Rajaratne.

Two other similar courts would be set up soon.

Those aggrieved by the decision of the special court can appeal to the Supreme Court directly, Justice Ministry officials said.

In May, the Sri Lankan Parliament approved the setting up of special high courts with 119 legislators voting in favour and 52 against.

Justice Minister Thalatha Atukorale said the new courts will reduce pressure on the criminal justice system and help speed up hearings. Around 100 state attorneys are to be recruited for the Attorney General’s Department to fast track the prosecution process through the special court, reports Xinhua news agency.

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–IANS

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