Petitions against Hemasiri, Pujith postponed until September

The Supreme Court yesterday decided to postpone until September 03rd the hearing of fundamental rights petitions filed against two top government officials over their failure to prevent the Easter Sunday attacks on April 21.

12 fundamental rights petitions have been filed in the apex court against former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundera, who has been sent on compulsory leave, over the failure to prevent the attacks despite having beforehand intelligence warnings in this regard.

The petitions were taken up yesterday (29) before a seven-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya, Justices Buwaneka Aluvihare, Sisira de Abrew, Priyantha Jayawardena, Prasanna Jayawardena, LTB Dehideniya and Murdu Fernando.

During hearing, lawyer Saliya Peiris appearing for three priests who had filed a petition, told court that the political authorities must be held responsible for this tragedy.

The seven-member judge bench announced that the petitions would be taken up for further hearing on September 03rd, 04th, and 05th.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera appeared before court in person.

The petitions were filed by seven parties including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Janak Sri Vidanage, a businessman in the tourism industry and Saman Nandana Sirimanna from Wellampitiya, a father of two children who died in the attack on the St. Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade.

The petitioners in their petitions pointed out that the intelligence unit had already informed the IGP and the security authorities about the attack and if they informed the public the devastation could have been prevented.

They point out that the IGP and the Defense Secretary by not acting upon the information, have committed an offense punishable under the Code of Criminal Procedure as well as the Penal Code.

The Easter Sunday suicide bomb attacks by a Muslim extremist group on three churches in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa and three luxury hotels in Colombo and an inn in Dehiwala killed 259 people including 47 foreign nationals and injured 500 more.

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