May 22, 2008 (AFP) – An appeal court on Thursday overturned a two-year prison term for breaking immigration law and dropped all charges against former cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala.

Sumathipala, 43, was found guilty in April 2007 of forging travel documents to take alleged underworld leader Dhammika Amarasinghe to England to watch the 1999 cricket World Cup.

After a four-year legal tussle, the wealthy businessman was also fined 50,000 rupees (470 dollars).

But the appeal court acquitted Sumathipala, who chaired Sri Lanka’s Board of Control for Cricket until 2005, without providing any explanation at the hearing.

“Mr. Sumathipala’s conviction charges have been dropped by the court today,” his aide, Ray Illangakoone, said.

Pending the appeal, Sumathipala is out on bail after paying a cash bond of 10,000 rupees (94 dollars). .

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