5 released from the Avant Garde case

5 released from the Avant Garde case

5 released from the Avant Garde case

Written by Staff Writer

17 Jan, 2020 | 10:57 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar ordered for the release of five accused from the charges filed against them in the High Seas Arms Trafficking Case of MV Avant-Garde.

Retired Major General Palitha Fernando, Retired Major General Karunaratne Banda Egodawela, Former Senior Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Defence Damayanthi Jayaratne were released from the case.

In addition, the first and second accused in the case Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited and Avant-Garde Maritime Services were also released from the case.

The order was made by justices Dhammika Ganepola, Aditya Patabandige and Manjula Thillakaratne while delivering their ruling on the preliminary legal objections filed by the defence on the indictment filed by the Attorney General which contained a total of 7573 charges.

The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar said of the 7573 counts filed against the accused, only 19 can be carried forward in the case.

The evidence examination in the case will take place on the 10th of February.

The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar informed the Attorney General to consider if he would proceed with the case under the 19 charges filed against the 08 accused namely ;

  • Retired Navy Commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage
  • Ukrainian Gennadiy Gavrylov – the captain of ‘MV Avant-Garde
  • Don Albert Tillakaratne
  • Avant-Garde Chairman Major Nissanka Senadhipathi
  • Victor Samaraweera, who served as Chairman of Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited
  • Nilupul de Costa
  • Retired Air Vice-Marshal Ponnathurai Balasubramanium Premachandra
  • Former Additional Defence Secretary Saman Dissanayake

Avant-Garde Chairman Major Nissanka Senadhipathi was released on a cash bail of Rs. 500,000 and two sureties of Rs. 2.5 million each.

Senadhipathi was barred from travelling overseas and was ordered to surrender his passport to the court.

The Attorney General filed the case under a series of charges including the illegal possession of 816 automatic firearms and 202,395 live bullets aboard the MV Avant-Garde without any legal document.

The Permanent High Court Trial at Bar recalled the warrant issued for the arrest of former Senior Additional Defence Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne, who was released from the case today.

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