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    Avant Garde case: Chairman and seven others to be arrested

    July 06, 2019

    Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC yesterday directed the Acting IGP to arrest Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi and seven others and produce them in Court in connection with the magisterial inquiry into the Avant Garde’s floating armoury case at the Galle Magistrate’s Court.

    The Co-ordinating Officer to the Attorney General, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne disclosed that the Attorney General had compelled to make these directions following the CID information that two suspects including Nissanka Senadhipathi had left the country even prior to the Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss five Fundamental Rights petitions filed by Nissanka Senadhipathi and four others seeking an order preventing them being arrested by CID.

    Accordingly, the Attorney General directed the Acting IGP Chandana Wickremeratne to arrest the following suspects for illegally operating merchant vessel ships carrying a stock of firearms and explosives including 813 unlicensed automatic firearms and 200,935 rounds of ammunition on the seas off Galle.

    They are; Retired Major General Palitha Fernando, Retired Major General Karunaratne Egodawele, Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, Retired Navy Commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage, Retired Air Vice Marshal P.D. Premachandra, National Police Commission Secretary and Former Additional Defence Secretary Saman Dissanayake, Former Senior Additional Defence Secretary Damayanthi Jayaratne and Rakna Lanka company Chairman Victor Samaraweera.

    conducting investigations into the matter had reported to the Attorney General that two suspects, Nissanka Senadhipathi and Nandana Diyabalanage, had already left the country.

    On last Wednesday (03), the Supreme Court dismissed five Fundamental Rights petitions filed by Retired Major General Palitha Fernando, Retired Major General Karunaratne Egodawele, Nishshanka Senadhipathi, Reitred Navy Commodore Vishvajith Nandana Diyabalanage and Saman Dissanayake. They had sought an Interim Order restraining the CID from arresting them in connection with the magisterial inquiry on the floating armoury.

    The Attorney General maintained that there is sufficient evidence to prove that the eight suspects had committed punishable offences under the Firearms Ordinance and Explosives Ordinance. The Attorney General further alleged that three suspects - Saman Dissanayake, P.D. Premachandra and Nissanka Senadhipathi - could be charged for fabricating false evidence under Section 189 and 190 of the Penal Code. In his letter to the Acting IGP, the Attorney General instructed the Acting IGP to take necessary measures to arrest the suspects and produce them in the Magistrate’s Court in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code. The Attorney General has also called for a progress report in this regard before July 8. Copies of this letter had also been sent to the Senior DIG and the Director of the CID.

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