Colombo High Court Judge W.T.M.P.B. Warawewa on Thursday reissued an open warrant for the arrest of Anil Chandima Withanarachchi, Editor of the UK-based Lankanewsweb.
Withanarachchi failed to appear in Courts on Thursday. He is charged for allegedly forging, aiding and abetting and collectively conspiring to prepare forged documents including a deed of gift for a land valued at four million rupees. He was not represened in Court by counsel on Thursday.
Three others are also accused in the same case but two of them have since expired. The fourth, Sudasingha Gunasekera appeared in Courts. The case was re-fixed for trial on January 26, 1011.
In June, this year, Interpol Headquarters in France issued a Red Notice worldwide for the arrest of Withthanarachchi.
This followed a dossier on his alleged criminal activities provided to them. The CID has since informed Interpol and UK’s Scotland Yard that Withthanarachchi is now living in the City of Bradford. They have said that his website was being operated from his residence in Brindle Close in that town.
His identity came to light after Sri Lankan and foreign media published reports that he is most wanted by the Police in Sri Lanka.
Immediately thereafter, Withanarachchi owned up in his website that he was the Editor and
declared his lawyers would represent him when the case is taken up in Colombo.
However, no lawyers were present on Thursday when the case was taken up in the High Court No 4 in Hulftsdorp.