Hit enter to search or ESC to close
The first of three trials in Sri Lanka related to bombings that killed nearly 270 people has begun.
A Sri Lankan court has begun the first of three trials related to the bombings that killed nearly 270 people on the island in 2019, despite victim support groups’ calls for greater accountability.
Former National Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara is accused of failing to act on repeated intelligence warnings of a possible terror attack in a trial that began on Monday.
As Jayasundara stood in the dock at the back of the courtroom, a total of 855 charges of murder and attempted murder were readout. According to his lawyer, a total of 1,215 witnesses have been listed to testify, but not all of them will be called.
“We believe the former police chief is innocent. He did not purposefully aid or abet the attacks, and there was no omission on his part that resulted in the attacks,” said attorney Ranjith Dehiwala.
Ex-Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, the ministry’s top official at the time, is facing similar charges in a trial that begins later Monday. He and his lawyer were unavailable for comment.
On Tuesday, the third trial, in which 24 men are accused of carrying out the attacks, will begin.
Over 23,000 charges were filed against the suspects, including murder plotting, aiding and abetting the attacks, and collecting weapons and ammunition. Mohammad Naufer, who is said to be the mastermind of the attacks and is linked to Islamic State, is also a member of the group.
On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, a series of attacks targeting three churches and three hotels killed 267 people, including at least 45 foreign nationals.
About 500 people were injured in the attacks, which were the worst in Sri Lanka’s turbulent history. The majority of those injured were members of the island’s minority Christian community.
About the author
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.