Chairman, retired Tri-Forces’ top brass, senior civil servants among 13 indicted | Daily News
Rajapaksa era Avant-Garde floating armoury case:

Chairman, retired Tri-Forces’ top brass, senior civil servants among 13 indicted

• 7,573 charges, most in a single case • Offence: ‘High Seas Arms Trafficking’ :

Attorney General Dappula de Livera, PC yesterday filed indictments comprising 7,573 charges in connection with the Avant-Garde arms trafficking case against Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Yapa Senadhipathi and 12 other accused. This is the highest number of charges in a single case in Sri Lanka’s legal history and is in connection with what the AG’s Department has named as the ‘High Seas Arms Trafficking Case’. The case arose in connection with the Avant Garde floating armoury operation that began during the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

The Attorney General’s Co-ordinating Officer, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told news media that the presentation of charges were under the section 450(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code on the offences committed in the ‘High Seas Arms Trafficking Case’.

The Attorney General has requested the Chief Justice to appoint three judges of the High Court to constitute a High Court Trial-at-Bar for the trial of the Avant Garde’s floating armoury case after taking into consideration the nature of the offences and the complex nature of the available evidence.

The 7,573 charges including unlawful possession of automatic firearms and live ammunition rounds, were laid against the Avant-Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Limited, Rakna Arakshaka Lanka Limited ,Chairman of Avant-Garde, Nissanka Yapa Senadhipathi, former Rakna Lanka Chairman, retired Major General Waduge Palitha Piyasiri Fernando, former Rakna Lanka CEO, retired Major General Karunaratna Banda Adhikari Egodawele, General Manager of Rakna Lanka’s Ocean Security Unit, retired Air Vice Marshal Ponnuthurai Balasundaram Premachandran, Rakna Lanka Chairman Victor Samaraweera, Don Albert Tillekaratne, retired Navy Commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage, Nilupul de Costa, Ukrainian Gennadiy Gavrylov, the captain of ‘MV Avant Garde’, former Additional Defence Secretary Saman Dissanayake and former Senior Additional Defence Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne and, they were listed as the defendants in the case.

According to the proposed indictment, the Attorney General submitted that the accused have committed punishable offences under sections 22(1) and 22(3) of the Fire Arms Ordinance and section 113B, 102, 189 and 190 of the Penal Code for illegally operating merchant vessel ship MV Avant Garde carrying a stock of firearms and explosives including 816 unlicensed automatic firearms and 202,935 rounds of ammunition on the high seas off Galle.

The Attorney General maintained that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the all accused had committed punishable offences under the Firearms Ordinance and Explosives Ordinance on or around October 6, 2015. The Attorney General further maintained that three accused - Saman Dissanayake, P.D. Premachandra and Nissanka Senadhipathi - could be charged for fabricating false evidence under Section 189 and 190 of the Penal Code.



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