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Police investigations into Easter attacks concluded 

a year ago

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  • Dr. Sarath Weerasekera says findings sent to AG 
  • 110,000 phone calls analysed, 24 indicted, 23,700 charges filed, 9 cases pending in 5 HCs 
BY Buddhika Samaraweera  Public Security Minister Rear Admiral (Retd.) Sarath Weerasekera told the media yesterday (27) that all investigations carried out by the Police regarding the Easter Sunday terror attacks of 21 April 2019 have now been completed.  He said that all the duties of the Police regarding the said investigation have been fulfilled. “The Police have completed all investigations with regard to the terror attacks and have handed over the findings to the Attorney General (AG). Accordingly, nine lawsuits are currently being heard in five High Courts (HCs) pertaining to the attacks,” he added. Weerasekera also said that the investigations have been completed in a very short period of about two-and-a-half years and that therefore, no one could charge that the Government or the Police did not conduct a proper investigation into the Easter Sunday terror attacks. “We had to analyse about 110,000 phone calls in a very short period. Also, 24 accused parties who planned these attacks have been indicted. About 23,700 charges have been filed in this regard. So, no one can say that we are trying to sweep the investigations under the carpet,” he added. Meanwhile, the case against former Defence Ministry Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara, which was filed with the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court (MC) on charges of the criminal negligence of duty owing to the failure to prevent the Easter Sunday terror attacks despite receiving prior Intelligence information, has been concluded. It was taken up before Colombo Acting Magistrate Sanjaya Gamage yesterday. During the judicial proceedings, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) informed the court that another lawsuit against the two defendants is currently being heard before a Special Trial-At-Bar at the Colombo High Court. Accordingly, the investigating officers sought the conclusion of the lawsuit filed with the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, after which the Acting Magistrate ordered to end the relevant proceedings against Fernando and Jayasundara.  On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches (St. Sebastian’s Church in Katuwapitiya, St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, and Zion Church in Batticaloa) and three luxury hotels in Colombo (Cinnamon Grand Colombo, The Kingsbury Colombo, and Shangri-La Colombo) were targeted in a series of co-ordinated suicide bombings. Later that day, another two bomb explosions took place at a house in Dematagoda and the Tropical Inn Lodge in Dehiwala. A total of 269 people excluding the bombers were killed in the bombings, including about 45 foreign nationals, while at least 500 were injured. All eight of the suicide bombers in the attacks were Sri Lankan citizens associated with the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) organisation founded by the suicide bomber at Shangri-La Colombo, Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zahran alias Zahran Hashim. 

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