Maligakanda magistrate Lochani Abeywickrama yesterday (10) refused to permit lawyers to appear on behalf of former health minister in the case into substandard immunoglobulin vaccines scam.
She allowed Rambukwella’s lawyer U.R. de Silva to only observe the proceedings from the lawyers’ benches.
The magistrate noted that allowing the ex-health minister to be represented in a case in which Health Ministry officials are the respondents would breach public trust in the judiciary.
The aggrieved party is the Sri Lankan public, she said, adding that Rambukwella cannot be treated as an unsatisfied party in the case.
However, the magistrate permitted attorney Tharkanath Amarasinghe to appear along with president’s counsel Kalinga Indatissa on behalf of the complainant, citizens power and civil organizations collective against bribery, corruption and wastage.
After lawyers made submissions for around 3.5 hours, the magistrate ordered the suspects to be remanded further until 17 February, when a ruling will be made with regard to their bail applications.