Former Defence Secy, IGP arrested while in hospital | Daily News

Former Defence Secy, IGP arrested while in hospital

The country’s top police officer and the former top bureaucrat for Defence both facing a welter of criminal charges, including murder, in connection with the Easter Sunday terror blasts, were placed under arrest yesterday afternoon even as they were supposedly undergoing treatment in hospital for sudden illnesses.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekara told news media yesterday afternoon that the two senior public servants had been arrested. Currently both former Defence Ministry Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara are in hospital after falling ill the day after it was announced that criminal action was to be taken against them.

As the drama unfolded during the course of yesterday, the CID initially prepared to visit the IGP where he is warded in the Police Hospital, Colombo, in order to obtain a preliminary statement from him.

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando meanwhile was also warded in intensive care in the National Hospital, Colombo, yesterday morning reportedly to be recuperating after heart problems.

The Attorney General said that as there is sufficient evidence that Jayasundara and Fernando have committed offences for which they can be punished under Sections 296, 298,327, 328 , 329 and 410 of the Penal Code.

These sections of the Code are for the offences of murder, causing death by negligence, acts which endanger others or personal safety of others, causing hurt and. ‘committing mischief’.

The Criminal Investigation Department which is leading the investigation against the Inspector General of Police and the former Defence Ministry Secretary over their failure to avert the April 21st terror attacks is to record a statement from Jayasundara and possibly from the former Defence Secretary.

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando who was said to have suffered a heart attack on Sunday, was admitted to the Cardiology Unit of the National Hospital in Colombo. He is said to be recuperating in the Intensive Care Unit.

Sources told the Daily News that representatives of the former Defence Secretary had informed the CID that he would give a statement at a later date.

Earlier this week, Attorney General Dappula De Livera directed Acting IGP C.D.Wickremaratne to produce IGP Jayasundara and former Defense Secretary Fernando in court as they are accused of ‘grave crimes against humanity’ for negligence on their part despite having intelligence information leading up to the April 21st”.

The AG, in a letter to Acting IGP, reprimanded him for not acting on his directive in a letter dated June 27th where he had named the two individuals as suspects.

“There is sufficient information to prove negligence of official duties ... and criminal negligence. It is also considered a grave crime against humanity under international law,” Livera said in the letter

Meanwhile, Acting IGP Wickremaratne’s coordinating officer, Police SP Keerthipala said that it was the CID which is leading the investigation and that they would take the initiative to record statements from both individuals.

He told the Daily News that Acting IGP Wickremaratne had replied to the Attorney General’s letter requesting that the police record statements, name them as suspects and produce them before courts.

The directive from the AG was made after he considered the final report of the ‘Special Board of Inquiry Appointed to Inquire into the Series of Incidents Related to the Explosions that Occurred at Several Places in the Island on 21 April, 2019’ as well as a report from the CID which was submitted to him on 26 June.

The AG said that as there is sufficient evidence that Jayasundera and Fernando have committed offenses for which they can be punished under Sections 296, 298,327, 328 , 329 and 410 of the Penal Code and would record statements from them, report facts to the relevant magistrate and produce them in court.

[Former Defence Secretary, former IGP remanded]

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara, who were arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department at the Colombo National Hospital, were remanded till today (3) by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayarathne yesterday.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera PC had 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 minimise the Easter Sunday attacks.



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