Easter Sunday Terror Attacks: Hearing of 12 Petitions commences

The hearing of 12 petitions seeking a declaration that former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and former President Maithripala Sirisena and other authorities violated their Fundamental Rights due to the failure to prevent the Easter Sunday Terror Attacks despite  intelligence information having been received commenced yesterday (14) before a seven-judge Bench of the Supreme Court.

The seven-judge Bench comprises Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Judges Buwaneka Aluvihare, L. T. B. Dehideniya, Murdu Fernando, S.Thurairajah, A.H.M.D.Nawaz and Shiran Gunaratne.

The petitions had previously been allowed to be heard and due to the COVID pandemic, its commencement had to be postponed from time to time.

Judges Priyantha Jayawardena and Gamini Amerasekera had announced previously that they would not be participating in the hearing of these petitions due to personal reasons. Accordingly, the above-mentioned Bench of judges was named by Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and it was decided that hearing of the petitions would commence on 14 March. Hearings will continue on 15, 16 and 18 March. When the petitions were taken up for hearing yesterday (14) President’s Counsel Gamini Perera representing the petitioners, made lengthy submissions.

He said that although the intelligence report was given, neither the former IGP nor the Defense Secretary paid proper attention to it and did not follow up or monitor it properly. He also said that former head of the State Intelligence Service Nilantha Jayawardena had submitted an affidavit to court to that effect.

However, Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya asked whether there were any grounds to substantiate these allegations. The Chief Justice also pointed out that it is not acceptable to make general allegations by simply making statements.

Subsequently, Attorney-at-Law Dharshana Weraduwage appeared for the petitioners and made submissions.

 

by Daily News Sri Lanka

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