In a significant legal development, former Minister Namal Rajapaksa and five co-accused have been acquitted and released in the Gowers case, where they were alleged to have committed offenses under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The Colombo High Court, presided over by Judge Navaratne Marasinghe, delivered the verdict, stating that no evidence presented by the prosecution's witnesses supported the allegations or established guilt.

During the proceedings, the defense had earlier requested the release of the accused under Section 200(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code without summoning defense witnesses. The court, subsequently scheduled for a November 2 decision on the release under Section 200(1), ultimately ordered the acquittal and release of all accused, including Namal Rajapaksa, without requiring the presentation of defense evidence.

The case, tried under Section 241 of the Criminal Procedure Code, proceeded without the second accused, Indika Karunajeewa, who had evaded court appearances from the trial's commencement. The court withdrew the open warrant against the second accused and lifted the travel ban imposed on him. Additionally, the travel ban on the fourth accused, Iresha Silva, was lifted.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against the six accused, including Namal Rajapaksa, for their alleged involvement in laundering Rs.30 million through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited. Notably, Namal Rajapaksa, Nithya Senani Samaranayake, Sujani Bogollagama, and Iresha Silva, who served as directors of Gowers Corporation Pvt. Ltd, were present in court during the recent proceedings.

The legal landscape unfolds as the Attorney General formally presses charges against former Minister Namal Rajapaksa, along with Indika Karunajeewa, Sujani Bogollagama, Iresha Silva, Nithya Senani Samaranayake, and Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited. The charges, amounting to 11 counts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, allege their involvement in a money laundering scheme totaling Rs. 30 million within the timeframe of 2013 to 2014. Notably, the funds were purportedly channeled through Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited, a company owned by Namal Rajapaksa.

Reports indicate that Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited, based in Colombo 5, is engaged in providing coordinating services to SriLankan Airlines. The Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) initiated investigations into this matter following a complaint lodged by Voice against Corruption Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe. Samarasinghe asserted that MP Namal Rajapaksa, while serving as a Member of Parliament, acquired shares in a company named Hello Corp and established Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited with the Rs. 125 million allegedly earned through illicit means.

In the legal arena, the defense is represented by President’s Counsels Sampath Mendis, Gamini Marapana, and Navin Marapana. Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Rathnayake takes the lead on behalf of the Attorney General, adding a layer of complexity to the unfolding legal proceedings.

As the legal saga surrounding the alleged money laundering activities involving former Minister Namal Rajapaksa and five others unfolds, the stage is set for a contentious legal battle. The Attorney General has formally filed indictments, citing 11 counts under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, accusing the defendants of orchestrating a money laundering scheme totaling Rs. 30 million between 2013 and 2014. The focal point of these accusations centers around Gowers Corporate Services (Pvt) Limited, a company owned by Namal Rajapaksa, with claims suggesting that funds were illicitly funneled through this entity.

The intricate web of legal proceedings also sheds light on the company's purported role, providing coordinating services to SriLankan Airlines. Originating from a complaint filed by Voice against Corruption Convener Wasantha Samarasinghe, the investigations by the Financial Crimes Investigation Division (FCID) have brought the case to the forefront.

Legal luminaries, including President’s Counsels Sampath Mendis, Gamini Marapana, and Navin Marapana, form the defense team, while Senior Deputy Solicitor General Dilan Rathnayake spearheads the legal representation on behalf of the Attorney General.

The unfolding events signal a complex legal battle ahead, with the defense vehemently challenging the charges. As the courtroom drama intensifies, the outcome of this case will undoubtedly shape the narrative surrounding these serious allegations and determine the fate of the individuals involved.