The Colombo High Court today ordered to acquit and release interdicted Magistrate Thilina Gamage from a case filed against him for the illegal possession of an elephant calf.
The Attorney General had filed indictments against four accused including former Magistrate Thilina Gamage for unlawful possession of an elephant calf named ‘Sakura’ valued at Rs.6.9 million.
The defence had made a request in terms of section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code to acquit and release the accused without calling defence witnesses.
While ordering the accused to be acquit and release, High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta observed that prosecution evidence has failed to establish the commission of the offences as mentioned in the indictment.
The Attorney General had filed indictments against four accused Magistrate Thilina Gamage, Chandrarathna Bandara Yatawara,Wildlife Officers Upali Padmasiri and Priyanka Sanjeewani under 25 counts including possession of an elephant calf without a license, conspiracy to tender false documents and registration of the concerned elephant calf by producing forged documents.
The charges were filed for violating the provisions of Fauna and Flora Ordinance and Public Property Act. The Attorney General maintained that due to the fact that the elephant calf does not have a valid license, the elephant calf falls under the category of Public Property. Thus, the charges have been filed under Public Property Act for the possession of an elephant calf stolen from the forest.
The case against three other accused is to be taken up again on January 21.