Former Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and seven others released in Avant Gard case

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and 7 others were acquitted and released from the Avant Garde case as the Bribery Commission has filed the case against them against the law.

Colombo Magistrate Lanka Jayarathna after receiving the Court of Appeal judgment on the case yesterday (23) released the defendants.

However, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the Bribery Commission has no objection to filing a new case following proper procedure, the Court announced.

The Bribery Commission on September 01, 2016 filed charges at the Colombo Magistrate�s Court against the former Defense Secretary and seven others for causing a financial loss of 11.4 billion rupees to the government by allowing Avant Garde Maritime Services Private Limited to maintain a floating armory at the Galle Harbor during the period from 07 August 2012 to 8 January 2015.

The former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa filed a revision petition at the Appeal Court seeking a court order declaring the case illegal and to acquit him from all charges.

In addition to Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Navy Commanders Somathilaka Dissanayake, Jayanath Colombage, Jayantha Perera Avant Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipathi, Palitha Fernando and Karunaratne Bandara. The case was heard without the second defendant, Sujatha Damayanthi, the former Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defense, who was absconding the court.

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