News

Easter Sunday attacks: Former State Intelligence Service Chief to become State witness 

  • Jayawardena to appear in case against ‘mastermind’ Moulavi 
  • Easter report mooted criminal charges against Jayawardena 

BY Buddhika Samaraweera 

Former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director, Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) Nilantha Jayawardena will appear as a State witness before the Special Trial-At-Bar appointed to hear 23,270 indictments against 25 suspects, including Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Naufer alias Naufer Moulavi, in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings, the Director General of Legal Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat Harigupta Rohanadeera told The Morning yesterday (1). 

Moulavi was singled out by Public Security Minister, Rear Admiral and Dr. Sarath Weerasekera as the ‘mastermind’ of the terror attacks in April of this year, a charge he has subsequently reiterated. He also stated in Parliament in May that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has also identified Naufer Moulavi as the mastermind of the attacks. 

The Special Trial-At-Bar was appointed yesterday by Chief Justice, President’s Counsel (PC) Jayantha Jayasuriya at the request of the Attorney General (AG). 

In addition to this case, Nilantha Jayawardena will be named as a State witness in the case against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the then Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara over their alleged role in the failure to prevent the attack. 

SDIG Jayawardena is to be named a State witness in a backdrop where the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) has, in its final report, recommended that the AG consider instituting criminal proceedings against the former under suitable provisions of the Penal Code in connection with the terror attacks. 

According to the CoI report, the first communication SDIG Jayawardena made in writing after receiving the intelligence information regarding a possible terror attack on 4 April 2019 was to the then Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis by a letter dated 7 April 2019. It is titled “Information of an alleged plan of attack” and the CoI during his testimony before it, queried as to why the term ‘alleged’ was used by him when the foreign counterpart that sent him the intelligence information had not termed it so, and his response was, “They say but we don’t know”. The CoI, considering SDIG Jayawardena’s evidence before it, had concluded that he had not taken the said intelligence information seriously. 

Meanwhile, a top level public official whose name is also mentioned in the CoI’s final report told The Morning that if any person who has been implicated in the final report of the CoI is to be named as a State witness in the trials with regard to the said terror attacks, the same would have to be applied to the others who have been similarly implicated and named in the report.