The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to investigate and inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) will shortly be vested with powers, hitherto vested with the Attorney General, to directly indict persons in Court on charges of fraud and corruption.
The Presidential Commission is to be so empowered by a special Act of Parliament. The new legislation will also extend PRECIFAC’s mandate by five more years, a spokesman for the Commission said.
Hitherto, the Attorney General was the sole indicting authority acting under final recommendations by the Presidential Commission.
The objective of the new legislation is to form an institution that is vested with powers similar to those vested in the Commission to Investigate Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC), the Financial Crime Investigation Division (FCID) and the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) which can indict persons independently.
President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will discuss this issue with top officials next week. Secretary to PRECIFAC Lacille de Silva, Attorney General Yuwanjana Wijethilaka and a few leading civil society figures are expected to attend the discussion.
By Niranjala Ariyawansha