Elephant trafficking case to be heard on Dec. 12 | Daily News


 

Elephant trafficking case to be heard on Dec. 12

The case filed against Samarappulige Niraj Roshan alias ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven others for alleged possession of five elephants in their possession without valid permits and conspiring to traffic elephants was yesterday fixed for further trial on December 12 by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.

When the case was taken up before the Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges Vikum Kaluarachchi (President), Dhammika Ganepola and Aditya Patabandige, former Wildlife Assistant Director Upali Padmasiri who has been named as the seventh accused in the case produced a letter through his counsel to court mentioning that he wishes to make a dock statement regarding the case.

However, his counsel was not present in court yesterday. Therefore, Colombo High Court Judge Kaluarachchi strictly advised the accused that there is no possibility of an accused dealing directly with the court through a letter.

The Attorney General had 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 traffic five elephants between June 5, 2012 and August 31, 2015.

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

Last March, the Colombo High Court had ordered the release of ‘Ali Roshan’ and six others from the case filed against them for allegedly keeping four elephants in their possession without valid permits as to the Permanent High Court had no jurisdiction to hear the case since it had been filed under Section 27 of the Fauna and Flora Ordinance and Section 5(3) of the Public Property Act.

Therefore, the Attorney General acting on a special request from the Chief Justice had requested for the appointment of a tripartite bench to take up the case filed in the Colombo High Court against ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven other defendants.

The Attorney General had then filed 28 charges against ‘Ali Roshan’ and seven other accused under the offences against Public Property Act and Fauna and Flora Ordinance.

Former Wildlife 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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Case against ‘Ali Roshan’, seven others fixed for trial (17:06)

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 fixed trial on December 12 by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.

When the case was taken up before the Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges Vikum Kaluarachchi (President), Dhammika Ganepola and Aditya Patabandige, former Wild Life Assistant Director Upali Padmasiri who had been named as the seventh accused in the case was produced a letter through a counsel to court mentioning that he wants give a dock statement regarding the case.


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