Indictments served on Hemasiri, Pujith: Trial to begin November 22

Pujith Jayasundara and Hemasiri Fernando

Indictments were yesterday served on Former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando in connection with the offences of murder and attempted murder, for their serious lapses and grave omissions to prevent Easter Sunday bomb attacks on April 21 in 2019, by the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar.

The bench also fixed the case trial to be held daily from November 22 to November 29.

The indictment was handed over to the accused who appeared before the Court on bail when the case was taken up before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar Bench comprising Colombo High Court Judges Namal Balalle, Aditya Patabendige and Mohamed Irshadin.

Deputy Solicitor General Dileep Peiris appeared on behalf of the Attorney General and informed the court that although two separate indictments comprising 864 charges had been filed against the both accused earlier and the charges had been amended and new indictments comprising 855 charges have been filed against each of the accused.

The Deputy Solicitor General also stated that 1,215 persons have been named as prosecution witnesses in the case and the Attorney General has informed the Chief Justice in writing about the amendment and the Chief Justice has given his approval to amend the charge sheets and to proceed.

Accordingly, the Deputy Solicitor General sought from the Court to fix a date for commencement of the trial. Meanwhile, Defence asked the Court to give them a date to study the amended indictments which served their clients and explain the defence position.

Two separate indictments comprising 855 separate charges against former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando were filed by the Attorney General in the Colombo High Court on May 3.

The Attorney General filed indictments in the Colombo High Court against former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando on the basis of accountability of murder and attempted murder under sections 296 and 300 of the Penal Code in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks that took place on April 21, 2019 due to ignoring the sensitive intelligence provided by State Intelligence Service Director Nilantha Jayawardena that Zahran Hashim and his group had organized and prepared to carry out suicide bombings targeting religious places and hotels between April 07, 2019 and April 21, 2019 and completely failing to act on the intelligence.The Attorney General had indicted them on charges of failing to prevent Easter Sunday attacks despite receiving enough information to prevent the attack and alleging that 275 people had died and nearly 500 had been injured as a result of failing to prevent the attacks on charges of murder and attempted murder under sections 296 and 300 of the Penal Code.

(Source: Daily News – By Dilshan Tharaka)

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