Former President Mahinda Rajapakse today denied allegations by the government that he had siphoned off state monies during his decade long tenure in office and also held assets worth US$18 billion overseas.
Rajapakse’s response came a day after Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera told journalists in the capital Colombo said that according to intelligence reports, the former leader had stashed away billions of dollars in foreign countries and was involved in mass scale corruption.
The Foreign Minister further said that Rajapaksa and family were number two among Heads of State and government who had stashed away billions abroad according to a list prepared by Transparency International (TI) Germany.
Samaraweera also revealed that Sri Lanka had the backing of four nations to trace these illegal monies and assets owned by the former leader.
Rajapakse, however, in a statement released today denied all allegations, stating that neither he nor his family held any secret offshore accounts or held any assets overseas and blamed the government for carrying out a false propaganda to ruin his image.
“In making the statement about my family’s supposed USD 18 billion fortune, Minister Samaraweera took the precaution of adding that he does not know whether this information is correct or not. By covering himself in that manner, fiction can be passed off as fact,” he said.
“I would like to inform the public once again that neither I nor my wife and sons nor my brothers have secret offshore accounts or illegal overseas investments in front companies,” Rajapakse said.
The former leader and his brothers are under a corruption probe in the country after his surprise defeat at the Jan.8 Presidential election to his one time health minister Maithripala Sirisena.
During a recent discussion with the new Sri Lankan President, Rajapakse urged Sirisena to drop the investigations against his family and supporters which was turned down. (Colombo Gazette)