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Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court rejects Gotabaya petition in split decision

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to dismiss corruption charges against him, in a split decision on Wednesday.

Gotabaya faces charges over the alleged misappropriation of 33.9 million rupees used to build a museum dedicated to his parents on the south of the island. Though he denies the charges, a lower court case is now scheduled to go ahead next month.

“It’s a divided decision which shows that the Supreme Court judges are not unanimous on this,” Keheliya Rambukwella, Rajapaksa’s spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday. “He can appeal to the Supreme Court in the event the high court finds him guilty.”

A lawyer who refused to be identified however told Reuters, “if he is convicted of charges, then he cannot file nomination for the presidential poll”.

See more from Reuters here.