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AG files appeal petition over HC Trial-at-Bar acquittal in heroin case

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Maintains judgement was delivered without a fair trial, contrary to the law :

An appeal petition was filed in the Supreme Court by the Attorney General seeking the annulment of the judgement delivered

by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar to acquit and release the five accused from the case filed against them for importing and possessing over 196 kilos of Heroin.

The Attorney General maintained in the petition that the judgement was delivered by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar without a fair trial, contrary to the law and without considering the evidence which was produced before the Court.

The Attorney General has sought through the appeal petition that the accused be remanded and order to conduct a re-trial and imposed sentences against each accused.

The petition was yesterday produced before the Colombo High Court by the Attorney General.

On April 6, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar ordered to acquit and release the five accused from the case filed against them for importing and possessing over 196 kilos of heroin.

Following the case which was concluded in six months, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar observed that the prosecution was unable to prove the charges against the accused beyond the reasonable doubts.

Considering the evidence that transpired during the trial, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar ordered to acquit and release the accused since there were contradictions in the evidence led by the prosecution, which had a major impact on the case.

The verdict was delivered by Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar bench Comprising Colombo High Court Judges Adithya Patabendige, Manjula Thilakaratne and Mahesh Weeraman.

Previously, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya had appointed a Trial-at-Bar at the Colombo High Court to try the case filed against five accused by the Attorney General for importing and possessing 198 kilos of heroin.Upon the request made by Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam, a special Trial-at-Bar bench has been appointed by the Chief Justice to try the case against five accused who were arrested on the high seas while bringing over 196 kilos of heroin to Sri Lanka for smuggling. Colombo High Court Judge Adithya Patabendige was appointed as the presiding Judge of the panel while High Court Judges Manjula Thilakaratne and Mahen Weeraman were appointed as the other members of the Judge panel.The accused were arrested on the northern International High Seas while bringing 13 bags containing 248 packets of heroin weighing 263kg (gross weight) on a fishing vessel named ‘St.Anthony’ on April 21, 2019.The Attorney General had filed indictments against the five accused Anura Chaminda Appuhami, Thawarasa Sudhakaran, Aglesa Pille Thawarasa, Lasantha Priyalal Appuhami and Kandaiyya Chandrakumar on charges of trafficking and possessing, for importing 196.986 kilos of heroin to Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 – 01:08











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