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Sri Lanka cricket chief bailed over share scam

June 9, 2007 (AFP) - Sri Lanka's cricket chief Jayantha Dharmadasa was granted 100,000 rupees (910 dollars) bail by the commercial court of Colombo over his alleged role in manipulating share prices.

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Dharmadasa, who heads Sri Lanka Cricket, the governing body of the sport, his son and seven others are charged with illegally boosting the share price of Nawaloka Hospitals, in which they hold a majority stake.

The cricket chief was granted bail along with his son and others when the case was called on Friday.

Sri Lanka's securities watchdog last year filed a case against all nine for alleged "acts to create a false and misleading appearance of an active share market."

If found guilty, the nine could face up to five years in jail, a 10 million rupee (100,000 dollar) fine, or both, according to Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

Dharmadasa's family controls the Nawaloka Group, which has investments in construction, plastic, timber, trading and heavy machinery.

The family took the hospital unit public in 2004.

Nawaloka, Sri Lanka's second-largest private hospital, raised 300 million rupees by selling a 30 percent stake to the public.

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