The Monetary Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) dismissed a statement from former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa to “white wash” the MiG-27 fighter jet scandal by saying all documents were submitted in a case to the District Court Mount Lavinia.
An FCID spokesman said those documents have been provided when Rajapaksa was fighting a libel action against The Sunday Leader newspaper. They had exposed information of the corrupt MiG deal. “We are not concerned about his defence there. We are conducting a probe. All I can say is we have identified some startling findings. I cannot say anything further due to the fact the probe is still under way,” the spokesman stated.
This week Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been upset more than the Colombo Telegraph revelations. He has been telephoning police larger ups and government leaders and asking them not to proceed with the investigations. He has told them that all the details can be discovered in the case he filed against The Sunday Leader. Why the former Defence Secretary is so worried and attempting to take cover below his own defence in a court case is quite apparent – he does not want the Police to continue further investigations. The after potent official in Sri Lanka kept the media out when the case was heard in the Mount Lavinia Courts. No one particular was allowed to be present in the courthouse and he now desires the Police and the Sri Lankan public to think what he has said. Right here is his statement:
Final Sunday, it was reported in a single Sunday newspaper and 1 news internet site that the FCID which was carrying out an investigation into the obtain and overhaul of a number of MiG-27 aircraft in 2006 in the course of my tenure as defence secretary had found a secret bank account in the name of Bellimissa Holdings Ltd which had been opened in the British Virgin Islands just just before the deal. This is hardly the 1st time that this so referred to as ‘MiG deal’ has featured in the press. This topic has been discussed in the media on an off for the previous nine years. Because the alter of government, interest in this matter has been revived by our political opponents and I believe this is an opportune moment to explain to the public what this problem is about. All the documents described in this press release have been submitted the District Court of Mt Lavinia.
1. When the Chandrika Kumaratunga government purchased two MiG-27 ground attack aircraft and a single MiG-23 trainer aircraft in the year 2000, the contract for the provide of the planes was signed on 24 October 2000 with 1 T.S.Lee of DS Alliance of Singapore. Absolutely everyone knows that MiG aircraft are not manufactured in Singapore. The policy of our government was that arms would be purchased directly from the companies so as to get rid of middlemen.
2. When our government decided in 2006 to obtain four MiG-27 aircraft and to get the three existing MiG-27 planes and one MiG-23 overhauled, we straight approached UKRINMASH the makers of MiG planes in Ukraine. In the ‘letter of offer’ sent by UKRINMASH to the Ministry of Defence on 6 February 2006, it was specifically stated that this supply was being made in conjunction with a financier providing financing to the manufacturer and that the beneficiary of the letter of credit will be the financier. This formal letter of supply further stated that they will inform us of the name of the beneficiary organization within 3 days of signing the contract.
3. The UNP government of 2001-2004 had also created overtures to UKRINMASH for the supply of four MiG- 27 aircraft and in the letter of provide they had sent to the then Defence Minister Tilak Marapone on 22 April 2003, UKRINMASH had specified that the payment ought to be produced to a finance organization and that they will inform Sri Lanka of the name of the beneficiary business within three days of signing the contract. The approach of payment laid out in the supply made to Mr Marapone is word to word the exact same as made to us in 2006.
four. Mr D.A.Peregudov a Director of UKRINMASH has written to the Sri Lanka Defence Ministry explaining that UKRINMASH is a completely state owned enterprise and that according to Ukrainian law, his establishment does not have the appropriate to trade on credit terms and that they cannot offer you credit facilities for two years as requested by us. Hence a financier by the name of Bellimissa Holdings Ltd would give financing for the transaction.
five. When the contract was signed on 26 July 2006 for the provide of four MiG-27 aircraft and the overhaul of 4 other MiG aircraft, there were three signatories – the Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force as the purchaser, UKRINMASH as the seller and Bellimissa Holdings Ltd as the designated party which was to acquire the payment. This is a legally binding contract beneath Ukrainian and international law amongst two government agencies in Sri Lanka and Ukraine.
6. Section 23.1 of this contract specified that the buyer and the seller are aware that Bellimissa Holdings Ltd shall be involved to give financing to facilitate the transaction and that all payments beneath this contract including freight charges shall be paid to Bellimissa Holdings Ltd.
7. When the Invoice for the purchase and overhaul of the MiG aircraft was sent by UKRINMASH to the commander of the air force on 31 July 2006, it was after once again specified that the Bank of Ceylon need to open letters of credit in favour of Bellimissa Holdings Ltd. When a state owned enterprise in a foreign nation enters into a legally binding contract for the provide of aircraft, the buyer has to make the payment as the seller specifies.
There was absolutely nothing secret about the payment getting produced to Bellimissa Holdings Ltd, because they too were a signatory to the legal contract. We purchased these MiG aircraft directly from the companies in Ukraine, the payment was made, the aircraft was delivered, they had been employed in the war which was won and those aircraft are nonetheless in service. This puerile try by particular interested parties to establish the impression amongst the public that there was one thing ‘secret’ and underhand about the purchase of these MiG aircraft is a component of a extended standing attempt to sully my name and to cast doubt on my integrity. Behind all this is also the project of attempting to tarnish the war victory itself. I call upon the people of Sri Lanka not to be misled by the propaganda of interested parties who are trying to turn a lie into a truth constantly repeating the lie.
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