Govt. will probe Avant-Garde: Rajitha

Published : 7:01 am  September 24, 2015 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Sandun A Jayasekera
The government had decided to continue the Avant-Garde floating armoury inquiry notwithstanding the Attorney General’s position that there was not enough evidence to prosecute directors of the Avant – Garde Floating Armoury and its affiliated security firm Rakna-Lanka, Cabinet Spokesman Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday.

 He told the weekly Cabinet News Briefing that a discussion held after the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena, decided to continue the CID probe on the controversial security firm and floating armoury, independently and prevent any outside pressure to thwart the progress of the investigations. 
Responding to a journalist on the role of Attorney General on this particular issue, Minister Senaratne said government had not taken a decision on him but has been watching closely on his activities. The Attorney General earlier reported to the Colombo Chief Magistrate that the evidence gathered by the CID was not sufficient to file a case against the management of the floating armoury and security firm. 
On September 7, the Colombo Additional Magistrate Nishantha Peiris terminated the proceedings of the Avant-Garde case after the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of Police informed court that it would not go ahead with the case under the instructions of the Attorney General.

After the submission, the court also lifted the order restricting the Chairman of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd. Lt. Nissanka Senadhipahti from overseas travel.

According to Police sources the CID during investigations had not uncovered enough details that Avant Garde had done anything illegal. The CID had failed to find any evidence that Avant Garde had either sold arms to overseas terrorist groups or had used the weapons for illegal purposes as alleged earlier, the Police sources said. Meanwhile, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake made a lengthy statement on Tuesday in Parliament on the issue and expressed surprise and dismay over the dropping of the case. 
He requested the Speaker to summon Attorney General to Parliament to answer members on a number of issues pertaining to the case.