Hemasiri Fernando and Pujith Jayasundara further remanded: DSG says serious lapse of official duties

Hemasiri Fernando and Pujith Jayasundara further remanded: DSG says serious lapse of official duties

Written by Staff Writer

03 Jul, 2019 | 8:37 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Former defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara who is on compulsory leave, were ordered to be remanded till July 9th by Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne today (July 3).

The Attorney General’s Department informed the court, that according to the Penal Code, the duo had aided and abetted in committing manslaughter.

During the hearing, Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige said, the suspects had absconded from their duties. The Deputy Solicitor General further noted that the suspects’ failure to act upon written and verbal intelligence reports on a potential suicide attack led to the loss of hundreds of lives.

Furthermore, Deputy Solicitor General Mudalige said the suspects who were in charge of the security of a country which has experienced a 30-year-long civil war, should be aware of the severity of suicide attacks.

The Deputy Solicitor General informed the court, as stated in article 294 of the Penal Code that the suspects have committed a criminal offence for their failure to take action in preventing the loss of lives despite being aware of the potential threat and the availability of clear information.

In his statement to the court, Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige further informed, if the suspects had carried out their duties, National Thawheed Jamath Leader Mohammed Zahran Hashim, who was responsible for the suicide attack, should have been arrested.

Mudalige added, if this could not have been done, measures should have been taken to evacuate the general public from locations which were potential targets.

The Deputy Solicitor General said religious leaders, heads of the Tri-Forces, tourist hotels and the general public could have simply been informed through the media, Police media spokesperson and other modes of communication.

Presenting facts on behalf of the Attorney General, Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige pointed out that Hemasiri Fernando and Pujith Jayasundara had followed no such protocol.

Deputy Solicitor General Thusith Mudalige informed the court, that the suspects’ failure to inform the Prime Minister, State Minister of Defence, Security Council Heads or the Commanders of the Tri-Forces of the intelligence they had received, is a serious lapse in their official duties.

Representing the suspects, President’s Counsel Anuja Premaratne informed the court that Pujith Jayasundara was aware that the Head of State Intelligence would divulge all intelligence to the Defence Minister.

Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne inquired from the counsel of the defendant if it can be assured that intelligence units had divulged this information to the relevant factions.

In response, the Counsel said the aforementioned procedure had been followed as instructed.

The Defence Counsel further informed the court that Pujith Jayasundara had been prevented from attending the National Security Council since last October by the President.

He further pointed out, despite this, Pujith Jayasundara had immediately informed four Deputy Inspector Generals of Police including the Senior DIG in charge of the Western Province of the intelligence he had received.

Taking the facts presented into consideration, Colombo Chief Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne ordered former defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando and IGP Pujith Jayasundara, who is on compulsory leave, to be further remanded until the 9th of this month. The Magistrate ordered the Prisons Superintendent to present the two suspects to court on that day.

The Magistrate informed that the order pertaining to the request for bail made by the counsel for the defendant will be issued on the 9th.

The Prisons Superintendent had informed the court in writing that the suspects were not presented to court today on account of their health.

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