Former Chief Controlling Officer of Immigration and Emigration Jayasinghe Aarachchige Ariyasena, who was indicted by the Bribery Commission in 1996 on charges of illegally acquiring funds, was convicted by the Colombo High Court (CHC) yesterday.
CHC Judge Kusala Sarojini Weerawardena imposed a fine of Rs 6.6 million and a two-year rigorous imprisonment sentence suspended for ten years.
The suspect drew the massive fine in addition to the jail term when it was proved in Court he had purchased a house valued at Rs 2 million which he would not have been able to finance out of his legitimate earnings. He had also been found to have savings of Rs 200,000.
The indictment cited events which occurred 22 years ago.
The Bribery Commission had indicted the former Chief Controller for failing to disclose how he obtained Rs 200,000 to deposit in a fixed deposit account in a State bank and how he got the money to buy the Rs 2 million property between 31 March 1994 and 31 March 1995.
State Counsel Shanil Kularatne making submissions to Court on behalf of the plaintiff stated that State officials are duty bound to serve the public as though they were given that order by the gods themselves.
He said that in offences such as these, when they are committed by such officials, the onus of punishing such individuals lies with the Judiciary, if not the public would lose faith with the system.