The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar today dismissed the amended indictments on the Avant Garde illegal arms transportation case filed by the Attorney General (AG) on the basis that it was illegal to file a charge sheet against the released defendants from the case.
Presenting preliminary objections to the case, the Defence Counsel informed the Court that the amended indictments filed by the AG were completely contrary to the law.
In the very first instance, the AG filed 7,537 indictments on the defendants of the case but the Trial-at-Bar discharged five accused from the charges levelled against them.
The Court had decided to continue the case with 19 charges because the rest of the charges indicated errors.
Again on January 31, the AG had filed a revised charge sheet containing indictments against chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services Nissanka Senadhipathi and eight others over the allegation of possessing unauthorised firearms and the operation of an illegal floating armoury in the Galle Port.
Accordingly, 882 indictments have been filed against the defendants before the three-member Special High Court.
However, considering the amended charge sheet filed by the AG, the Trail-at-Bar three member judge panel informed that it was illegal to file an amended indictment against the released defendants and the Court had observed that the charges filed by the AG was bad in law.
Accordingly, the Trial-at-Bar bench said that the case can be continued with 19 charges which have no errors and the case will be taken up for hearing on May 04.
Earlier, the Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar granted bail to the Chairman of the Avant Garde Maritime Services Company Nissanka Senadhipathi and eight others and ordered to release five defendants in the case.
The case was taken up for hearing before Justices Dhammika Ganepola, Manjula Thilakeratne and Aditya Patabendige. (Yoshitha Perera)