Written by Staff Writer
23 Jul, 2020 | 5:51 pm
Colombo (News 1st); A retired CID Police Inspector on Thursday (23) admitted he used Zaharan Hashim’s brother-in-law Ansar and Army Mohideen, suspects in the 2019 April Attacks, as informants to gather information on Zaharan Hashim, but failed to do a background check on them in addition to not carrying out surveillance on the two.
The retired Police Inspector (IP) who led the Criminal Investigations Department team to investigate Army Mohideen, a suspect in the 2019 April 21st Attacks, admitted the manner in which he operated was in violation of the law.
Ex-Police Officer Dias Padmasiri testifying at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the terror attacks confirmed the CID did not move to arrest Army Mohideen in March 2019, despite being informed about his location by the State Intelligence Service (SIS).
The retired Police Officer said, on 7th March 2019, on the instructions of ASP Wickramasekara, he led a CID team comprising of Sergeants Nandalal & Wijeratne and Constable Dissanayake to Pasikuda in search of Army Mohideen.
Adding he was instructed to liaise with the State Intelligence Service by his superiors, Dias Padmasiri said the SIS informed him of the fact Army Mohideen was providing training to groups in a plot of land in Pasikudah and weapons were stockpiled on the plot.
The retired Police Officer also admitted he was informed by the SIS of the fact, a warrant was issued for the arrest of the suspect.
He further said the SIS confirmed to him that Army Mohideen had links with Zaharan Hashim, the leader of the suicide bombers who carried out the terror attacks.
“It was reported that Mohideen was staying in a makeshift house on land near the beach in Pasikudah. We visited the house and found an elderly couple living there. They told us Mohideen was staying there”, the retired police officer said adding an hour after visiting the site, Army Mohideen returned to the house.
He said Army Mohideen was questioned onsite based on the information provided by the SIS adding an arrest was not made as there was nothing suspicious on the plot of land.
The retired Police officer said Army Mohideen was convinced to work undercover for the CID and report on Zaharan Hashim.
” He was given my contact number and the number of Sergeant Nandalal to contact us when needed,” said Dias adding he does not recall if Army Mohideen provided any information on Zaharan Hashim.
In response to a questioned posed by the PCoI, the retired police officer noted Army Mohideen was not arrested due to insufficient evidence.
Dias Padmasiri further said he understands NOW, the non-execution of a warrant issued by a court was against the law.
Dias went on to note, ASP Wickramasekera, the senior officer he was reporting to was informed verbally of the fact Army Mohideen was to be used as an informant.
The Presidential Commission was also stunned to learn the Kantankudy Police was not informed about the warrant by Dias as he was busy with the investigations.
Retired Police Inspector Dias stood in silence when he was questioned by the Presidential Commission to the fact, the terror attacks could have been prevented to some extent if he and his team had worked to arrest the suspect, Army Mohideen.
Yesterday an SIS officer testified to claim someone from the inner circle of Zaharan and NTJ leaked certain intelligence to Indian Intelligence and suspects, that person could be “Sarah Jasmine” or Pulasthini, who is now believed to have fled to India.
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