Sri Lanka’s top court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to dismiss corruption charges against him, in a possible blow to the frontrunnner’s candidacy.
In a split decision, a panel of five Supreme Court judges rejected a petition by Rajapaksa, who had asked that a lower court case in which he is accused of embezzling state funds be thrown out, his spokesman said.
If Rajapaksa, 70, is found guilty in a trial, scheduled to run for three weeks from Oct. 15, he can still appeal to the Supreme Court. But he could face a challenge to his candidacy if he were sentenced to more than six month’s in jail, legal experts said.
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