Ex. Army Colonel further remanded | Daily News
Avant Garde Case:

Ex. Army Colonel further remanded

Galle Chief Magistrate Nishantha Peiris further remanded the retired Army Colonel until April 23 when he was produced before court by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), on Monday.

The ex-Army Colonel was remanded by the Galle Magistrate following his arrest by the CID last month, on charges of illegally maintaining a firearm depository on the vessel MV Avant Garde near the Galle Harbour.

The remanded ex-Colonel, Don Thomas Elbert Wijetunga Thilakarathne, was employed as the storekeeper of the disputed floating armoury.

The CID officer for prosecution, submitting a further report on the suspect, told court that he was found to be linked with the alleged illegal transportation of firearms and keeping them in his possession.

According to the report of the Government Analyst Department on the alleged unlawful firearms depot on the ship, the origin of the illegal firearms and explosives detected from the Avant Garde floating armoury, could not be traced and the serial numbers of 204 weapons had been altered, the CID officer further disclosed before the Magistrate.

The officer added that the charge against the suspect was a matter which should be taken up in the High Court and preliminary investigations on the matter are still continuing.

However, the lawyer for the defence argued that filing a case against a civilian on the charge of illegal possession of firearms and explosives, was a strange legal scenario similar to that of fabled King Kekille’s verdict.

The suspect was merely a wage-earning employee of Rakna Lanka Organization and not an officer in authority. The CID officials would be able to find the actual persons connected to the Avant Garde Case provided that they initiate proper and authentic investigations into the incident, the defence lawyer further argued.

Subsequently, the Magistrate stated that the Magistrate’s Court had no authority to grant bail on the suspect in view of the charges leveled against him and all submissions would be considered during the process of the case and ordered to further remand the suspect until April 23, directing the officials to maintain separate documents taking the specialty of the case into consideration.

A. P. G. Sarathchandra together with Avanthi Ruwanpura, attorneys-at-law, appeared for the defence and SI Senarath of the Criminal Investigation Department prosecuted.


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