High Court fixes date for Eater Sunday attacks trial

The Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar has decided to call the case pertaining to the Easter Sunday bombings on October 04, 2021.

Ada Derana reporter said that summons have been issued on 25 defendants in the case who are in custody to appear before the court on the said date.

Indictments filed against the defendants are expected to be handed over to them on that day.

A special three-member panel of judges were appointed on September 01 to hear the case regarding the 2019 terror attacks.

The Chief Justice has appointed High Court Judges Damith Thotawatte, Amal Ranaraja and Navaratne Marasinghe to the three-member bench to hear the cases filed against the suspects in connection with the 2019 Easter suicide attack in which over 270 people, including 11 Indians, were killed.

Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte will chair the three-judge bench. The setting up of the special Trial-at-Bar at the Colombo High Court came following a request from Attorney General Sanjay Rajaratnam to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.

Police had last month filed 23,270 charges against 25 suspects in the case including Naufer Maulavi, Sajid Mailavi, Mohamed Milhan, Sadiq Abdullah, Aadam Lebbe, Mohamed Sanasdeen and Mohamed Rizvan.

The charges filed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act include conspiring to murder, aiding and abetting, collecting arms and ammunition, and attempted murder.

Nine suicide bombers, belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) linked to ISIS, carried out a series of blasts that tore through three churches and as many luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, killing over 270 people and injuring more than 500 people on April 21, 2019.

The Attorney General’s Department has already filed two separate cases against the former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who are accused of criminal negligence of duties and failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks due to neglecting the prior intelligence input on the impending attacks. – ada derana

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