Five accused plead ‘not guilty’ to trafficking heroin | Daily News

Five accused plead ‘not guilty’ to trafficking heroin

The accused in a case filed for importing and possessing over 196 kilos of heroin yesterday pleaded not guilty to the charges before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar bench comprising Judges Adithya Patabendige, Manjula Thilakaratne and Maheen Weeraman, all accused were produced by the Prison authorities.

Following the reading of the charges in the charge sheet in open court, the accused declared their innocence before the law.

Previously, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya had appointed a Trial-at-Bar at the Colombo High Court to hear the case filed against five accused by the Attorney General for importing and possessing 196 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.

Colombo High Court Judge Patabendige has been appointed as the presiding judge of the panel while High Court Judges Manjula Thilakaratne and Mahen Weeraman have been appointed as the other members of the panel of judges. The accused were arrested on the northern high seas while bringing 13 bags containing 248 packets of heroin weighing 263kgs from a fishing vessel named ‘St. Anthony’ on April 21, 2019.

The Attorney General had filed indictments against the five accused Anura Chaminda Appuhamy, Thawarasa Sudhakaran, Aglesapille Thawarasa, Lasantha Priyalal Appuhamy and Kandaiyya Chandrakumar on charges of trafficking and possessing 196.986 kilos of heroin to Sri Lanka.

Deputy Solicitor General Lakmini Girihagama appeared on behalf of the Attorney General while Attorneys Gamini Alwis and Namal Rajapaksa appeared for the defence.

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