The Sunday Leader

CIABOC To Be Revamped

  • Hustling out its history

By Hafsa Sabry

CIABOC Director General Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe and CIABOC Chairman Justice D.J.De S. Balapatabendi

A new independent bribery commission is expected to be appointed after implementing the Constitutional Council. The latter will be appointed by next week in accordance with the 19th constitutional amendment.

The tenure of the present commissioners will come to an end, since the chairman and some of the commissioners of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) seem to be dependent on and partial towards some politicians of the previous government, according to former justice minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe.

The people of a country elect their president and expect that he or she will govern and guide the country free of corruption and bribery, fostering peace and harmony. Therefore, appointments of high court judges are carried out by the Judicial Service Commission at the recommendations of the President to ensure that the law of the country is impartial towards all disregarding their status.

Now, what if the president violates the Constitution and the law of the country and the Chairman of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption follows the same?

As everyone knows, several high profile cases of law-breaking and corruption are being investigated since the newly elected president took office. It has been eight months since well-known politicians made complaints about bribery and corruption to the Bribery Commission against high profile politicians in the Rajapaksha regime.

Yet, not a solid action has been taken to punish the criminals to date. Meanwhile, citizens are eagerly awaiting results of the investigations. Therefore, The Sunday Leader this week focuses on the actions so far taken by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption (CIABOC) in this regard.

 

Bribery and Corruption

A higher rank officer at the CIABOC said that most of the cases being investigated are against politicians, and they will be investigated disregarding their political affiliations and status.

When The Sunday Leader questioned about the number of cases being investigated, the official said since the investigations are going on, he cannot divulge the number.

Likewise, commissioner of the CIABOC Dr. Jayantha Wickramaratne also said that he abides by the law of the commission not to divulge any information about the ongoing cases, but he can assure that the suspects will be charged after completing the ongoing investigations.

Meanwhile, the former justice minister Wijeydasa Rajapakshe said the Commission is unable to continue the investigations since it itself is corrupt. So, we are waiting for a new chairman and a commissioner to be appointed. He said, it will take another week for new appointments to take place.

 

History of CIABOC

At the very beginning of the implementation of the Bribery Commission Bill, the then Ministry of Justice strongly opposed it claiming that the bill, drafted under the purview of former president Chandrika Kumaratunga and Prof. G.L. Peiris, was inadequate to battle against corruptions and frauds.

However, when it was presented to the parliament, the then Ministry of Justice realised that it was not the originally drafted bill since it did not carry clauses that empower the law to apply retrospectively. But the drafters were adamant. They claimed it was powerful enough to punish the rogues for the wrongs they did within the last 17 years. However, the said bill failed to bring the corrupt politicians of the previous regime to book showing that the objections against its passing in the parliament are valid.

The commission did nothing to stamp out corruption during their entire tenure of 5 years, except investigating a case against a schoolteacher for accepting six cups and saucers to enrol a child to the school.  However, the Commissions which were appointed thereafter functioned reliably to some extent; once Mahinda Rajapaksa became the president, he appointed his loyalties as commissioners and director generals thus making it entirely defunct.

On August 24, 2007, the Ministry of Justice received unanimous parliamentary approval through a resolution for the first time in the history to investigate alleged mega corruptions and frauds committed by 16 institutions.

Then the police officers attached to the Commission were transferred to Ampara as it started the investigation, and its director general was transferred with immediate effect to a pool of presidential secretariats by the Rajapaksa regime.

The Commission that was appointed thereafter did nothing for four years, not a single case was investigated even though they had received more than 1900 complaints. Similarly, a director general who had had no experience or knowledge in the field was appointed during the previous government.

 

Present situation

The newly elected government appointed a much experienced new director general Dilrukshi Dias Wickramasinghe to the Commission.

However, the investigations carried out by the Director General were obstructed by the Chairman and one of the Commissioners. They even refused to sign the papers of the complete investigations and refused to agree to file court cases against the suspects.

Meanwhile, 50 police officers who were carrying out these investigations were not allowed to enter the premises of the Commission by the Chairman in order to hamper the ongoing investigations.

 

The Chairman

It is the practice to appoint a retired high court judge as the chairman to the CIABOC by the president. Therefore, retired Supreme Court Judge Jagath de S. Balapatabendi was appointed the chairman of the Commission following the accepted procedure.

He, along with two others, was nominated by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for the Commission, in keeping with the powers vested in him by the 18th Amendment.

Its other members are former Judge of the Court of Appeal L.K. Wimalachandra and former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jayantha Wickramaratne.

The present chairman is accused of several allegations of corruptions and significantly accused of objecting to the ongoing investigations related to high profile politicians in the previous regime. He is also accused of taking home the documents related to some VIPs of the Rajapaksa government and of not attending the official duties.

Acting promptly against his misconduct, the Director General has stopped paying the chairman’s salary.

“The most ridiculous part of the incident is that he had gone to the Human Rights Commission asking for his salaries”, said former minister Wijeydasa.

It must be recalled that Balapatabendi once had accepted a vehicle from an Auto Mobile Company as a bribe.

However, the commissioners and the members of the commission have asked Balapatabendi to vacate his post in order to replace him with an independent personality. But he had requested from the Prime Minister an ambassador post as a ransom to vacate his post.

 

FCID and CIABOC

The Financial Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and the CIABOC are two different institutions which have no links to each other, says former Justice Minister Wijeydasa Rajapaksa.

The FCID is one of the police departments whereas the CIABOC is a commission to investigate Bribery and Corruption other than financial frauds, explained the former minister. Frauds should be investigated by the police, he further stated.

The FCID investigates frauds done by politicians to embezzle public money.

The basic difference to the cases which were investigated by these two institutions is that the fraud cases can be proven, but the corruption cases sometimes cannot be proven.

 

2 Comments for “CIABOC To Be Revamped”

  1. Lima

    THIS IS WHAT THE JARAPAKSA FAMILY DID TO THIS COUNTRY , THEY ROBBED , MURDERED AND ABUSED THE WOMEN ALONG WITH THOSE PARAYS OF THE REGIME…EVEN THESE JUDGES WERE BENEFITED AND LIVING LUXURY LIFE. ALL SHOULD BE PUNISHED SEVERELY. IT IS IN BANGLADESH OR PAKISTAN THEY WILL SHOOT TO DEATH THESE CORRUPT ROBBERS. THEY DESERVE THESE

  2. punchinilame

    The FCID has a formidable task – how many will be put to the test. Here is a
    list of pending matters: Over to Hon. Wijedasa
    a) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cW_IMHj6Ccc ( RADA scam)
    b) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWRVAI81CNU (Prageeth Ekneligoda abduction)
    c) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yglth_W4eAI (Parasana Ranathuga activity)
    d) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgn0k-V31Q0 (Release of W-van murderers?)
    e ) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdjdYVXgpqk (BBS vs Watareka Vijitha Himi)
    f) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdjdYVXgpqk (M.P. Ravirajs murder 9 yrs.ago)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMFknmjLmlk (Lasantha Wickrematunges murder 6 yrs ago)
    h) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpUYOq68WQs (Journalist D.Sivarams murder on 28-4-05)
    i) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWNP3OEoY9U (Death of T.Wasim- Ruggerrite 3yrs.ago )
    j) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp8-SBErXGM etc. etc. etc- …………

    May be a Giunnes World Record for a Democratically elected Leader

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