An army lieutenant (Rtd.) who pleaded guilty to the charges of stealing antiques from the custody of the Viharadhipathi of a temple in the Polpithigama area was sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment by the Maho Magistrate today.
Apart from the custodial sentence, the accused B.A. Pushpakumara Jayawardane was ordered to pay a fine of Rs.200,000 to the state. It was revealed that the army lieutenant had been convicted on a previous occasion over the same charges.
Meanwhile, a businessman and a civilian in the area who were also involved in the incident were sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment suspended for ten years by Additional Magistrate Bharathi Wijeratne. The businessman R.M. Dhananjaya Akalanka was further ordered that a fine of Rs.200,000 be paid to the state while ordering the other accused R.G. Sumith Jayasoma to pay a fine of Rs.250,000.
When the case pertaining to the stealing of antiques from the custody of the Koonwewa Niyadawanaya Rajamaha Viharadhipathi, Meegaswewe Sumana Thera came up before the Maho Magistrate’s Court, another four suspects pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them.
The other suspects in the case, including an army major, a businessman and four other civilians were ordered to be further remanded until October 31.
The tenth suspect a police inspector attached to the Kurunegala police was said to be absconding. Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris, appearing on behalf of the Attorney- General, submitted in court that the suspect had been on duties last month and moved court that an arrest warrant be issued against him.
Accordingly, an arrest warrant against the Inspector was issued by the Magistrate. Meanwhile, the Magistrate today ordered the police that a statement of evidence be given in court tomorrow regarding the tenth suspect. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)
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