Friday, 31 January 2020 06:16

Avant Garde case to proceed with amended indictment

The Attorney General (AG) yesterday filed an amended indictment before the Permanent High Court Trial at Bar in the Avant Garde High Seas Arms Trafficking Case, consisting of 882 charges, down from the 7573 charges the Department had filed against the defendants in the case last September. The amended indictments were filed after the High Court Trial at Bar ordered the release of five of the accused from the charges in mid-January, and said only 19 of the charges can be carried forward in the case.

The case will proceed against eight persons including the Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services Ltd. Nissanka Senadhipathi.

The case is fixed for 10 February, an AG Department official said.

Charges have been field by the AG under the Firearms Ordinance as well as the Penal Code for illegally operating a merchant vessel ship, and carrying 813 unlicensed automatic weapons and 200935 rounds of live ammunitions on board the Ship MV Avant Garde, in and around October 2015. The Trial at Bar consists of High Court Judges Dhammika Ganepola, Aditya Patabandige, and Manjula Thillakaratne.

The case is connected to a joint venture which AGMS entered with the Government Owned Business Undertaking (GOBU) of Rank Rakshasa Lanka Ltd., to provide infrastructure facilities for international maritime security services.



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