Case against ‘Ali Roshan’, seven others fixed for trial | Daily News


 

Allegedly keeping five elephants without valid permits

Case against ‘Ali Roshan’, seven others fixed for trial

The case filed against Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven others for allegedly keeping five elephants in their possession without valid permits and racketeering them was yesterday fixed for trial by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges Vikum Kaluarachchi (President), Dhammika Ganepola and Aditya Patabandige fixed the case to be taken up for trial on December 12, 16 and 19.

 On a previous hearing, the defence raised preliminary objections before the Colombo High Court to reject the case filed against them stating that the Colombo High Court does not have the jurisdiction to hear the case as the manner in which the charges were filed against their clients is uncertain and the defence raised a question from Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General, to see if it was possible to amend the indictment.

Considering the facts, Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar Bench upheld the preliminary objection made by the defence and pointed out that the Attorney General has the opportunity to amend the charge sheets. The Trial-at-Bar Bench further ordered the Attorney General to inform the court on the course of action to be taken in this case on yesterday. Accordingly, when the case came up before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar yesterday, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris stated that, as per the instructions by Attorney General, prosecution has decided to amend the charge sheets. Accordingly, amended indictments were served on all accused and charge sheet against the defendants was read out in open court and all accused declared that they were not guilty of the charges. Summons were issued on 17 prosecution witnesses to appear in court on next trial dates. The Attorney General filed indictments against elephant trafficking kingpin Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven others for unlawful possession of five elephants valued at Rs.30 million. The Attorney General filed indictments against Samarappulige Niraj Roshan, Ali Roshan’s close relative Samarappuli Hewage Uchitha Nishan Dhammika, Wildlife Officers Upali Padmasiri and Priyanka Sanjeewani, Kadupitiyage Chandana Kumara, Sashika Chanuka Gamlath, Palihapitiya Gamage Jayalath and Ranasinghelage Damith Chathuranga under 33 counts including conspiring to traffick five elephants between June 5, 2012 and August 31, 2015.

The charges were filed under 28 counts for violating the provisions of Fauna and Flora Ordinance and Public Property Act including conspiracy to traffic elephants, trafficking of elephants, and unlawful possession of elephants and retention of stolen public property (elephants).

At a previous occasion,the Colombo High Court ordered to release ‘Ali Roshan’ and six others last March from the case filed against them for allegedly keeping four elephants in their possession without valid permits, due to the Permanent High Court having no jurisdiction to hear the case since it had been filed under Section 27 of Fauna and Flora Ordinance and Section 5(3) of the public property act.

Therefore, the AG in a special request from the Chief Justice has requested for the appointment of a Tripartite Bench to take up the case filed at the Colombo High Courts against the infamous elephant trafficker Ali Roshan and seven other defendants and the AG had then filed 28 charges against ‘Ali Roshan’ and the seven other accused under the offences against Public Property Act and Fauna and Flora Ordinance.

Former Wild Life Assistant Director Upali Padmasiri is also among the eight accused named in the case. Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris and Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara appeared on behalf of the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne appeared for the accused.


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