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AG directs acting IGP to arrest and produce Pujith and Hemasiri

Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC has directed Acting IGP Chandana Wickremeratne to name IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando as suspects and arrest and produce them in court for their failure to prevent or minimize the Easter Sunday attacks.

Co-ordinating Officer to the Attorney General, State Counsel Ms. Nishara Jayaratne told the Daily News that the Attorney General had given these instructions to the Acting IGP through a letter dated June 27,2019.

‘The Attorney General had directed the Acting IGP to initiate criminal investigations with regard to the major lapses attributed to two top officials for their failure to prevent or minimize the Easter Sunday attacks,’ SC Jayaratne said. Meanwhile, the Attorney General yesterday requested the Acting IGP to show cause in writing explaining as to why he failed to comply with the Attorney General’s directions to initiate legal action against IGP and former Defence Secretary.

In his directions, the Attorney General had requested the Acting IGP to take necessary legal action against two top officers in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code for acting which endangered the life or the personal safely of others. The Attorney General observed that the IGP and former Defence Secretary are alleged to have committed offences come under Section 296, 298, 327, 328, 329 and 410 of the Penal Code and thereby they can be arrested and produce before a Magistrate’s court.

The Attorney General maintained that the the Easter Sunday terror attacks could be considered as grave crimes against humanity.

SC Jayaratne stated that the Attorney General has decided to issue these directions after taking into consideration the final report dated June 7, 2019 titled ‘Special Board of Inquiry Appointed to Inquiry into the Series of Incidents Related to the Explosions that occurred at Several Places in the Island on April 21, 2019.

Based on the report issued by the Special Board of Inquiry, the Attorney General had earlier directed the Acting IGP to initiate criminal investigations against nine high ranking police officers. On April 25,Hemasiri Fernando resigned from the post of Defence Ministry Secretary over the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.

President Maithripala Sirisena had requested the Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to submit their resignations.

However, IGP Pujith Jayasundara did not resign from his post. Later on, he was sent on Compulsory Leave over the investigations on the Easter Sunday attacks.

The President blamed them for failing to prevent the Easter Sunday bombings despite receiving prior warnings of a possible attack.

Meanwhile, Pujith Jayasundara had filed a Fundamental Rights petition in the Supreme Court seeking an interim order suspending President’s decision to send him on compulsory leave following the Easter Sunday bomb attacks.

On June 4, both former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara were appeared before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe the Easter Sunday attacks.

The Special three member Board appointed to investigate the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks had submitted its final report to President Maithripala Sirisena on June 10.

This Board comprised Supreme Court Judge Vijith Malalgoda, former Inspector General of Police N. K. Ilangakoon and former Ministry Secretary Padmasiri Jayamanne.

(Daily News)

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