- Facing charges on 277 counts including theft of animal genes
By Shelton Hettiarachchi
The court case in which three Russians are facing charges on 277 counts including the theft of animal genes was postponed for June 25 by Nuwara Eliya Magistrate Pamoda Jayasekara.
The plaint was filed by the Park Warden of the Horton Plains National Park.
The suspects were arrested on February 26 and remanded after being produced in Court. However, in view of the COVID19 pandemic they were each released on a surety bail of Rs.100,000 and a personal bail of Rs.500,000.
The Park Warden informed Court that the suspects had carried out what appears to be the largest ever gene robbery in the country.
He informed Court that they had in their possession more than 500 specimens of animals endemic to Sri Lanka collected from Jaffna, Habarana, Yala, Bundala and Ginigathhena.
The Park Warden said the suspects were arrested when they were attempting to collect more animal specimens from the Horton Plains National Park.
The magistrate ordered the suspects to attend Court on June 25, when the case will be next taken up for hearing. Horton Plains Park Warden P.K.P.M. Pradeep Kumara and Deputy Park Warden T. P. Dayaratne made submissions on behalf of the state while Attorney-at-Law Chandana Perera appeared for the suspects.