PTL’s files referring to ‘AM’ and ‘RK’ feature in Aloysius’ text messages
Posted on October 4th, 2017

By Shehan Chamika Silva Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Several text messages extracted from PTL owner Arjun Aloysius’ phone, referring to files maintained at PTL titled as to do list to AM and RK” were submitted before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) yesterday by Additional Solicitor General Dappula De Livera who continued to cross examine former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran.

Continuing the cross-examination of former CBSL Governor Arjuna Mahendran, Additional Solicitor General Dappula de Livera yesterday questioned the witness over the relationship he had with his son-in-law’s company (Perpetual Treasuries Ltd) after he resigned from the post of Governor at CBSL on June 30, 2016.

ASG Dappula de Livera: Did you get involve in PTL affairs after you stepped down from the post of Governor?

Witness: No. But on one occasion in November 2016 they spoke with me and said that PTL had been curtailed by the CBSL from engaging in business activities. But at that time I told them that I don’t have any control as the Governor now.

ASG: Did Aloysius discuss with you?

W: Yes

ASG: And you advised him?

W: No I only listened to what he said. And I told to consult his lawyer regarding the matter. That was the only occasion.

ASG: Are you 100% certain about that?

W: Yes

ASG: After you stepped down, did you have anything to do with the Finance Ministry?

W: No

ASG: Did you visit the Finance Ministry after June 2016?

W: Yes

ASG: Why?

Witness said that he had the right to continue dealing with the Finance Ministry as it was a relevant entity with regard to his professional field.

ASG De Livera thereafter questioned whether he knows about the person called ‘Steve Samuel’, who was the personal assistance of the witness’ son-in-law, Arjun Aloysius.

ASG: Was Steve Samuel known to you?

W: No

ASG: Have you seen him?

W: No

ASG: Steve Samuel used to communicate matters pertaining to Aloysius’ daily schedule to him, would you know that?

W: No. But I take your word.

At this moment ASG De Livera strived to question the witness based on a document, which reflected some extractions of data from Arjun Aloysius’ mobile phone. These data were relating to several incoming text messages received by Aloysius from his personal assistant, Steve Samuel.

However, there was confusion after President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne who was appearing on behalf of Aloysius sought full details of extracted data by the experts.

After a long heated argument, in which all counsel and the Commissioners were involved, it was explained that the entirety of the data extracted from Aloysius’ phone (8600 pages) had been given to the Commission’s secretary in a storage form of CDs which were available to the counsel.

When he was questioned by the Commission, ASG Yasantha Kodagoda explained that the data relating to the Aloysius and Samual (text messages) were found from that extraction (8600 pages).

After some confusion, ASG De Livera questioned Mr. Mahendran showing a document contained several pages over the content of the incoming text messages received by Aloysius from his personal assistant.

ASG: Are you aware that your son-in-law Aloysius was maintaining a file titled with ‘Things to do list to AM” at Perpetual Treasuries Ltd?

W: No.

ASG: There are certain text messages between Steve Samual and Aloysius which reflect the existence of such a file?

W: I’m not aware of it.

When questioned about the reference of AM, witness Mahendran said that he had never heard people call him AM.

At this point Justice Prasanna Jayawardena asked ASG De Livera whether Mahendran was the correct person to answer what was reflected in the text messages.

In reply ASG De Livera said: The problem is that the Commission deprived itself by giving an order on Aloysius’ testimony”

We have crossed that bridge. We gave the order on the basis of the rule of law”, Justice Jayawardena” said.

We do not agree with that order”, ASG De Livera said.

That is a different matter, you have not challenged it in a different forum so far,” Justice Jayawardena said.

Time will tell that”, the ASG answered.

President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva who was appearing on behalf of Mahendran at this moment expressed the view that since his client said he did not know about the text messages, he cannot be further questioned on the content of those text messages.

However, the ASG said that there were references to Mr. Mahendran’s name in these text messages.

The Commission then said to continue with the questioning.

1st Text message- Date: November 22, 2016,

Steve Samuel to Aloysius

…We also have A Mahendran’s ‘to do list’….”

ASG: This ‘A Mahendran’ was referred to you, right?

W: That could be my son, or daughter and ‘A Mahendran’ could be anyone, there are various people.

ASG: I suggest to you that it refers to you, wasn’t it?

W: I don’t think

2nd Text message – Date: same day November 22, 2016

Steve Samuel to Aloysius

…Chairman waiting to update Arjun M and RK….”

When the witness was questioned about the content of the text message, he said that he did not know about it but it could be relating to the matter that PTL discussed with him over the curtailment of business activities by the CBSL.

ASG: Do you know about whom ‘RK’ refers to?

W: No

ASG: Was that Ravi Karunanayake?

W: I have not heard of him being called RK. I have only heard people call him Ravi K.

ASG: But Mr. Ravi Karunanayake rejected that stance on him being known as Ravi K when he was testifying before the Commission. Thank you for bringing that up.

3rd Text message- Date: between November 2016 and January 2017

Samuel to Aloysius

…..I’m going to Flower Road to deliver both RK’s and AM’s files….”

ASG: Do you know about this file?

W: I did not know any files

The witness at this point said that he was not confident about the accuracy of the data extracted from the phone. The ASG however said that he would prove the accuracy of the extraction in due cause with the experts evidence who extracted the data.

The witness replying said: This could be a fiction”. (Counsel laughed)

4th text message- Date: January 3, 2017

Samuel to Aloysius

Reminder form text message:10 p.m. with RKA new ‘to do list’ file

….AM ‘to do list file will be sent home…..Asela brought it to me….do you want me to bring to Flower road….”

When the witness was questioned whether ‘AM’ referred to him, he said that ‘AM’ could be even his daughter ‘Anjali Mahendran”.

ASG De Livera asked the witness whether he was aware that a file had been maintained for him at PTL.

The witness said that he did not know.

Citing the content of an incoming call, ASG De Livera explained that Samuel in this call tells Aloysius that he saw Arjun Mahendran while he was returning from some place.

However, the witness rejected this stance and said that he did not know Steve Samuel even though he would have seen him.

5th Text message- Date between November 2016 and January 2017

Reminder:

* Meeting with AM and Lasantha

ASG: Do you know Lasantha?

W: No

ASG: Do you know Lasantha Somaratne?

W: Name is familiar

ASG: He was the financial advisor of Ravi Karunanayake’s Ministry at that time. And this text message reflects about a meeting at Flower road residence, right?

W: Don’t know

ASG: Point is who is AM?

W: I don’t think that it was me

At this point, when witness said that AM could be even his daughter; the ASG questioned the employment of his daughter. It was revealed that Mahendran’s daughter was an employee of a company in Singapore.

ASG: Why would she be dealing with some Somaratne in the Finance Ministry? It sounds absurd. You are lying through your big teeth.

At this point Justice Jayawardena adding some amusement to the query said: Mahendran’s son-in-law (Aloysius) could be a friend of Angelo Mathews (AM)”

The court room burst out in laughter at this comment.

ASG: You had dealt with PTL within the period of your tenure as the Governor and even after, right?

Witness was of the view that he did not deal with PTL in that manner and the extraction was made in an unprofessional manner by the experts because the text messages shown by the ASG were not in order.

ASG De Livera thereafter questioned the witness on the content of the two deleted phone conversations which were earlier played before the Commission while PTL CEO Kasun Palisena was testifying.

These conversations reflected earlier that Aloysius were instructing his CEO Palisena regarding particular information on the March 29, 2016 auction.

ASG De Livera was of the view that this auction was also a similar one to the February 27 , 2015 auction. The ASG questioned the witness whether he could imply that Aloysius was giving price sensitive information to his CEO.

However, the witness said that he is unable to appreciate the quality of the information reflected in those conversations and therefore cannot comment on that because he does not have enough material to say so.

At this point Justice Prasanna Jayawardena questioned the witness.

Justice Jayawardena: Despite the accuracy or inaccuracy of the information would you consider that a primary dealer obtaining information relating to state banks’ bidding rate was price sensitive information?

W: Yes

Justice Jayawardena: Would you consider that a primary dealer having the information with regard to the EPF’s bidding amount was price sensitive?

W: Yes

J: Would you consider that a primary dealer having information of a rate cut was price sensitive?

W: Yes

ASG: Aloysius was referring to a department in that conversation, would not it be a department at CBSL?

W: It appears so

ASG: could the Department he referred was PDD (Public Debt Department)

W: That I cannot say

ASG: Aloysius referred to persons in powerful places, do you know who they were?

W: Can’t recall that. I don’t know.

The witness said that those phone conversations were weird conversations to him.

ASG: Aloysius was receiving price sensitive information regarding March 29, 2016 auction, right?

W: I can’t confirm or deny

ASG: Thereby Aloysius manipulated the Market, right?

W: I can’t confirm or deny

ASG De Livera then questioned the witness about the 5 percent penal rate removal on February 27, 2015.

Based on the sudden market influences on the exchange rate of the country, Mahendran said that he had decided to remove the penal rate on February 27, 2015 after discussing about it with Deputy Governor Mr. Weerasinghe and the members of the Market Operation Committee (MOC). This decision was questioned during the cross-examination.

Justice Jayawardena: Was it correct to say that on February 23, 2015, the Monetary Board decided not to change that rate until the next Monetary Board gathering?

W: Yes

J: And there was an instant need to remove the penal rate, right?

W: Yes

J: Would it be proper not to talk about it with the Monetary Board before taking such decision?

W: Yes but this had to be taken very quickly.

J: Do you agree that this rate removal directly affected the profitability of the auction?

W: Yes

During the cross-examination, when the document marked ‘AM 22’ (the undated letter given to Mahnedran by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayke) was referred to, ASG De Livera in a sarcastic manner told the witness that AM referred to him. He said that even the document ‘AM 22’ was named in the proceedings to refer to Arjun Mahendran.

However, the witness said that it was the first time in these proceedings that he was called ‘AM.’

The ASG quipped That is how liars get caught”

Counsel Chanaka de Silva who was appearing for Mahendran in a lighter vein said AM is a.m. and PM is p.m.”

Adding to the amusement Justice Jayawardena cracked: Your thoughts get the poor Commission stuck at noon”

During the cross-examination, when Justice Jayawardena questioned, the witness said that huge losses had occurred at the CBSL in 2014 and 2013 prior to his appointment as the Governor. He explained three reasons as to why such losses were incurred by CBSL.

Decision to sell and repurchase the gold in expectation of meeting profits, holding unto Australian dollars and guaranteeing three banks the foreign exchange guarantee had caused these losses, he said.

Meanwhile, when ASG De Livera was questioning the witness on the transfers that were said to have taken place on February 9, 2015 at the CBSL after the new appointment of Mahendran as the Governor, the ASG repeatedly went on to say that Mr. Mahendran was a liar.

ASG: You are not a great liar Mahendran

Justice Jayawardena: That is for us to decide.

Counsel De Silva: It was a cheap allegation.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) comprising Justice K.T. Chitrasiri (Chairman), Justice Prsanna Jayawardena and retired Deputy Auditor General Velupillai Kandasamy, will meet again at 10 am today.

W: No.

ASG: There are certain text messages between Steve Samual and Aloysius which reflect the existence of such a file?

W: I’m not aware of it.

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One Response to “PTL’s files referring to ‘AM’ and ‘RK’ feature in Aloysius’ text messages”

  1. Wetta Says:

    What a cheap liar !
    What a shameless thief !
    What a shame to Singapore !

    AM.. you are a thief and a liar .

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