Basil Rajapaksa, the former Minister of Economic Development and powerful brother of ex President Mahinda Rajapaksa was indicted on 9th multiple criminal charges ranging from bribery and corruption to misappropriation of public funds.
Mr Rajapaksa who left the country immediately after the defeat of his brother at the January 8 Presidential election was arrested on his return several months later but was released on bail after spending time in remand prison.
He has now been formally indicted by the Attorney General in the Colombo High Court for publishing thousands of almanacs on the eve of the presidential election under the ‘Divi Naguma’ village upliftment programme that came under his ministry.
While Mr Rajapaksa is the first accused the ex Director General of the programme is the second accused.
They are charged under the Penal Code, the country’s criminal law and the Public Property Act as well as under the Presidential Elections Act for inducing the voter through bribery and corruption.
If found guilty, the charges carry jail sentences.