CoI accepts Aloysius’ right not to give evidence

Bond Scam Probe



By Shyam Nuwan Ganewatta and Sarath Dharmasena


The owner of primary dealer, the Perpetual Treasuries Limited (PTL), Arjun Aloysius, has opted not to give evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI), probing the alleged bond scams, involving the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and (PTL) in Feb 2015 and March 2016.


Aloysius and his Counsel, Gamini Marapana, PC, turned down the opportunity given by the CoI, comprising Justice K.T. Chitrasiri (Chairman), Justice Prasanna Jayawardena and K. Velupillai to explain transactions carried out by the PTL.


In their ruling, in respect of Aloysius’ decision, the Commissioners said: "..we wish to make it plainly clear that, in our view, Aloysius is required to give evidence. This Commission of Inquiry considers that his evidence is relevant and material and also that we should give him the opportunity to explain the matters referred to above and other concerns of this Commission of Inquiry. We have, therefore, summoned him to appear before us today and give evidence."


Arjun Aloysius is said to be a principal shareholder and a director of the ultimate owning company of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd. Aloysius is said to have been the Chief Executive/Managing Director of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd, until early 2015, the Commissioners said.


However, the CoI decided against compelling Aloysius to give evidence as he wasn’t willing to do so.


CoI Chairman Chitrasiri said that the decision was based on the principal that if an accused was not willing to give evidence, he or she shouldn’t be compelled to do so.


Chitrasiri said that the decision in respect of bond transactions would now be made on the basis of oral evidence and documents available to the CoI, in cases where Aloysius refused to give evidence.


PC Marapana strongly objected to his client being compelled to give evidence.


The Commission stated:


"The evidence that is now before us, by way of the testimony of witnesses, documents and several audio recordings, has made it desirable that the Commission of Inquiry requires Mr. Aloysius to give evidence with regard to several matters relating to Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd including, inter alia: (i) the reasons for Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd bidding for large amounts of Treasury Bonds at some Auctions of Treasury Bonds; (ii) transactions on the Secondary Market of Treasury Bonds which Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd obtained by successful bids at Auctions of Treasury Bonds; (iii) the dealings and relationship which existed between the officers of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and some officers of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (iv) the dealings and relationship which existed between the officers of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and some officers of the Employees Provident Fund, Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and some other Primary Dealers; (v) whether Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd was in possession of information relevant to Auctions of Treasury Bonds which was not available to other Primary Dealers; and (vi) the profits and/or capital gains received by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd as the result of the aforesaid transactions on Treasury Bonds and the disposal of these profits and/or capital gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments.


In addition, the evidence that is now before us, by way of the testimony of witnesses, documents and several audio recordings, has made it desirable that the Commission of Inquiry requires Mr. Aloysius to’ give evidence with regard to several matters which are directly within his personal knowledge, including, inter alia: (i) (the ownership, control and structure of the group of Companies of which Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd is a member; (ii) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in applying for and obtaining a Primary Dealer’s License from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (iii) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in preparing the Business Plan of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd which was submitted to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka at the time Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd applied for a Primary Dealer’s License and the subsequent Business Models followed by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd; (iv) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in the day to day operations of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd while he was the Chief Executive of that Company; (v) the reasons for Mr. Aloysius resigning from the post of Chief Executive of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd; (vi) the role played by Mr. Aloysius in the day to day operations of Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd after he resigned from the post of Chief Executive of that Company; (vii) the profits and/or capital gains received by Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd and the disposal of these profits and/or capital gains by way of dividends, fund transfers and transfers of profits (if any) and investments; (viii) the audio recordings of telephone conversations which are said to have taken place between Mr. Aloysius and Mr.Kasun Palisena with regard to Auctions of Treasury Bonds held in March 2016 and the matters discussed therein including the information which Mr. Aloysius is said to have claimed, he possessed with regard to those Auctions; (ix) the role played by Mr. Aloysius with regard to the Fine imposed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on Perpetual Treasuries (Pvt) Ltd in April 2016 after the aforesaid Auctions; (x) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and some officers of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (xi) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and Mr. Arjuna Mahendran, the previous Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka; (xii) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and some officers of the Employees Provident Fund including Mr. Saman Kumara and Mr. Navin Anuradha; (xiii) the nature of the relationship between Mr. Aloysius and Mr. Nimal Perera, the previous Chairman of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC and the resulting transactions on Treasury Bonds entered into by Pan Asia Banking Corporation; (xiv) the reasons for Mr. Aloysius telephoning Mr. Richie Dias of Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC during the period when Mr. Dias was furnishing his statement to the Commission of Inquiry; and (xv) the reasons for Mr. Aloysius leasing an apartment which was occupied by Mr. Ravi Karunanayake and family."


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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