Easter Attacks: Police reject Cardinal’s allegations | Daily News

Easter Attacks: Police reject Cardinal’s allegations

12 cases filed in High Courts, 42 suspects charged:

The Police Department yesterday categorically rejected allegations made by Colombo Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith on the police probes into the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

The Police Department said the Attorney General had filed about 12 cases in the High Court based on accurate and evidential information which have been discovered by the Sri Lanka Police in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks.

The police added that 42 suspects have already been charged over the Easter Sunday attacks.

The police said that arrangements have been made to file legal action at the High Court based on instructions of the Attorney General with the final outcome of the investigations regarding whether the attacks took place due to Intelligence Sectors not giving proper attention to the intelligence information received.

“It is a judicial matter and it is not ethical to state facts about it,” Police said.

Making a criminal accusation against a certain person, is done under the legal provisions of the Evidence Ordinance. Police in response to the statement made by Colombo Archbishop during a conference held via Zoom technology, organized by the Global Justice Forum on January 8 said that Intelligence sectors, Prevention of Terrorism Division as well as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) have carried out certain investigations into Zaharan Hashim and during that period it was DIG Nalaka De Silva who was in charge of Prevention of Terrorism and Investigation Division. Shani Abeysekera was the Director of the CID while Ravi Seneviratne was the Senior DIG at the CID.

The Colombo Archbishop had alleged during this conference that the Easter Sunday attacks were a conspiracy by the present Government and investigators were not in favour of revealing information regarding these attacks.

The Cardinal alleged that arrangements were made to take DIG Nalaka De Silva into custody when he had obtained a warrant for the arrest of Zaharan Hashim and investigations have not been carried out into issues recommended by the Parliamentary Select Committee.

He also alleged that politicians influenced the police and the IGP presented to the people a statement made by politicians.

Police said that the Prevention of Terrorism and Investigation Division had obtained an open warrant from the Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court for the arrest of Zaharan Hashim on 09.07.2018 and prior to this, on 17.08.2017 an arrest warrant had been obtained from the Batticaloa Magistrate’s Court by the Kattankudy Police in relation to a clash that had taken place at Kattankudy Aliyar Junction.

While such circumstances prevailed, DIG Nalaka De Silva was taken into custody on 25.10.2018 in connection with an alleged conspiracy to assassinate the then President, the current President and an Assistant Superintendent of Police of Colombo as well as acting with the intention of damaging the posts held by several senior police officers and an official of the Police Commission.

He was arrested by Senior Superintendent of Police Shani Abeysekera who was serving as the then Director of the CID. While warrants had been issued against Zaharan Hashim, although DIG Nalaka De Silva had been supervising the Prevention of Terrorism and Investigation Division for more than three months, no arrangements were made to implement the warrants against him.

During the period 09.07.2018 to 25.10.2018 until Nalaka De Silva was taken into custody no officer had been deployed to act regarding the warrants and subsequent to his arrest, on several occasions, the Prevention of Terrorism and Investigation Division had arranged for officers to arrest Zaharan Hashim.

A number of investigations are being carried out by the Special Investigations Unit, even as of now, regarding certain acts of misconduct of DIG Nalaka De Silva.

In any investigation the investigating authority is the relevant Police Station or Officer- In-Charge (OIC) of the Investigations Unit. The legal position that prevails in Sri Lanka, is that he is accountable for taking into custody individuals with warrants against them as well as all matters pertaining to investigations being carried out. Accordingly, saying that the authority of an OIC can be suppressed by arresting and detaining an investigating officer is merely a statement with no legal veracity.


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