AG files 7,573 charges against 13 suspects

Avant-Garde floating Armoury case:

By A. J. A. Abeynayake

The Attorney General (AG), yesterday, filed 7,573 charges against 13 suspects including Avant Garde Chairman, Nissanka Senadhipathi in the case being heard before a three-member trial-at-bar at the Colombo High Court.

Among the charges are illegal possession and transportation of 816 firearms and 202,935 rounds of live ammunition. They were also accused of giving false evidence.

AG’s Coordinating Secretary State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said the following suspects had been charged for violating the Firearms Ordinance, Explosives Ordinance, and the Penal Code: Major General (Rtd.) Waduge Palitha Piyasiri Fernando, Major General (Rtd.) Karunaratna Banda Adhikari Egodawele, Yapa Hetti Pathirannehelage Nissanka Yapa Senadhipathi - Avant-Garde, Chairman, Retd. Commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage, Dissanayake Mudiyanselage Saman Dissanayake – Secretary, National Police Commission/former Senior Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Rtd. Air Vice Marshall P.B. Premachandra, D.M.S, Damayanthi Jayaratne – former Senior Additional Secretary Ministry of Defence and Victor Samaraweera – Chairman, Rakna Lanka.

The AG’s Department said that the Defence Ministry had issued permits only for the three automatic firearms and 2,000 rounds of ammunition to the Rakna Lanka security company. However, the Navy had recovered 816 automatic firearms and 202,935 rounds of live ammunition which had been stored on the ship, without a valid permit.

Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya appointed a three-judge bench, after considering AG Dappula de Livera’s request for the trial of the accused, given the nature of offences, the circumstances relating to the commission of the offences and complex nature of the available evidence.

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