AG files 800 charges against ex-Defence Secy. and former IGP

Tuesday, 4 May 2021 00:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Charges produced when case was taken up before Colombo High Court 
  • Offences include murder and attempted murder over failure to prevent Easter attacks

The Attorney General yesterday exhibited information consisting of 800 charges against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara. 

The charges were produced in respect of those killed and injured in the Easter Sunday attacks when the case against the duo was taken up by the Colombo High Court. 

The AG’s Coordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne stated that they had been charged in two separate Trials-at-Bar for the offences of murder and attempted murder with regard to the serious lapses and grave omissions that led to them failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings. 

The former officials were arrested on 2 July 2019, over their failure to take action to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks, despite reports compiled by a Presidential Commission of Inquiry and a Parliamentary Select Committee indicating there was prior knowledge of the attacks, and remanded on charges of criminal negligence and murder.

They were subsequently released on bail on 9 July 2019 by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne, stating that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the murder charges against them.

The Attorney General on 18 July 2019 filed a revision application requesting the Colombo High Court to issue an interim order against the granting of bail by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court to Fernando and Jayasundara.

The Attorney General filed a revision petition before the Colombo High Court, declaring that the bail application of the Chief Magistrate was illegal and invalidated it.

The Colombo High Court on 9 October overturning the order given by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court ordered to arrest the two officials and subsequently they were remanded again. In February both were released on bail and ordered to refrain from foreign travel.