DMI report suggested Zaharan may have fled to India in March, 2019 ; Witness tells PCoI

DMI report suggested Zaharan may have fled to India in March, 2019 ; Witness tells PCoI

DMI report suggested Zaharan may have fled to India in March, 2019 ; Witness tells PCoI

Written by Staff Writer

28 Aug, 2020 | 5:56 pm

Colombo (News 1st);  The State Intelligence Service had received intelligence in February of 2019 from a powerful western intelligence service about National Thowheed Jamaat Leader Zahran Hashim claiming he was overseas, Former SIS Director Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 April 21st Attacks.

Senior DIG Jayawardena made this statement while responding to a question raised during the cross examination led by Counsel Major I.P.D. Prageeth who appeared on behalf of a former Senior officer who served at Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).

Counsel Prageeth questioned the witness with regard to minutes shared at the intelligence review meeting held on March 19, 2019.

Senior DIG Jayawardena said according to the minutes of the intelligence review meeting, the former senior officer of DMI in a report mentioned Zahran may have fled to India in March, 2019.

Counsel Prageeth questioned the witness whether the report shared by DMI at the review meeting was an obstacle to conduct the SIS inquiry with regard to Zahran Hashim.

Responding to the question Jayawardena said there was no barrier from the DMI to the SIS inquiry by sharing the particular report with regard to Zaharan and his location.

The witness said according to information received by SIS, Zahran was in the country in March 2019.

Directorate of Military Intelligence usually inquired about matters pertaining to the LTTE and that is what he observed during his tenure as SIS Director, said the witness.

However, during the cross-examination, Counsel Prageeth highlighted there was a gap between DMI and SIS with regard to sharing of information pertaining to religious extremism and Zahran’s extremist practices.

Today, Counsel Pulasthi Rupasinghe appearing on behalf of former President Maithripala Sirisena, through his junior counsel informed the PCoI probing April 21st attacks, that he will not cross examine former SIS Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena based on his clients instructions.

More over President’s Counsel Anura Meddegoda appearing on behalf of former IGP Pujith Jayasundara informed the Commission that he will cross examine SDIG Jayawardena the 14th of September .

Counsel Upul Kumarapperuma appearing on behalf of former Senior DIG- CID Ravi Senaratne cross-examined SDIG Jayawardena but the Commission decided to inquire most parts of it in camera (behind closed doors).

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