News

22 ‘sensitive’ volumes of Easter PCoI report: AG to decide on access by Parliament 

  • All evidence to be perused by AG before indictments

 

Attorney General (AG) Dappula de Livera PC is to take a decision on whether the remaining 22 volumes of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) report on the Easter Sunday terror attacks, which contain sensitive information concerning national security-related matters, could be released to Parliament for reference, The Sunday Morning learnt. 

Speaking to The Sunday Morning, Presidential Secretariat Director General – Legal Affairs Harigupta Rohanadeera said: “The AG will decide whether the 22 volumes carrying sensitive information on national security could be released to Parliament or any other third party, especially because the observations included in those 22 volumes would be used to institute criminal proceedings.” 

Rohanadeera further explained that the volumes are to be used to file indictments over the criminal proceedings that would ensue, and that if the documents were to be released to Parliament or a third party, it could hinder the work that is to be undertaken through the AG’s Department. 

On Friday (12), Rohanadeera handed over the remaining 22 volumes of the PCoI report to the AG after it was previously withheld, citing the sensitive nature of the evidence pertaining to national security. 

The PCoI had handed over a total of 87 volumes containing its proceedings to the President’s Secretary in February, out of which 65 volumes were first released to the AG. 

The AG had requested the Presidential Secretariat to submit a copy of the PCoI’s final report on 12 February so as to consider forwarding the charges against the suspects. 

Thereafter, the AG had received the first volume of the report on 25 February, following which, by 2 March, he received 65 volumes. Afterwards, the AG had requested the submission of all proceedings, documents, and materials of the Commission to the AG’s Department. 

AG’s Co-ordinating Officer State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne, when inquired about how they would proceed since all the volumes were now in hand, said: “All the evidence that was recorded at the PCoI will be studied by the AG, before serving indictments.” 

The Commission had recorded evidence from a total of 440 individuals from 22 September 2019 to 27 January 2021.