Written by Zulfick Farzan
25 Jan, 2021 | 6:56 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Ex-Director of the Criminal Investigations Department Shani Abeysekera provided evidence to the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the 2019 April 21st Attacks, for the first time on Monday (25).
Abeysekera is held in remand custody and provided evidence from the National Hospital in Colombo via video technology.
Shani Abeysekera in his testimony said the investigations carried out following the 2019 April 21st Attacks revealed that the information passed on by Military Intelligence & State Intelligence Service on the killing of two police officers in Batticaloa in 2018, was inaccurate.
He said the information provided by both Military Intelligence & State Intelligence Service claimed a person connected to the LTTE had carried out the murders.
However, investigations following the 2019 April 21st Attacks revealed the killings were in fact carried out on the instructions of Zaharan Hashim, said the Ex-CID Chief.
Shani Abeysekera said five days after the police officers were killed, investigations led to the discovery of a bag used by the suspect close to the crime scene adding the information was passed on to the Criminal Investigations Department by the Director of the State Intelligence Services.
He said thereafter, the CID arrested the suspect and interrogated him at length after obtaining detention orders.
Shani Abeysekera said later it was revealed that the man who was arrested was one who was preparing deco for the Mahaviru Celebrations disregarding the police ban in the area.
He said investigations carried out following the 2019 April Attacks revealed the suspect was not connected to the killing of police officers in 2018 and the inquiry revealed the killings were carried out on the instructions of Zaharan Hashim.
Attorney-at-Law Upul Kumarapperuma, Counsel appearing for Shani Abeysekera voiced his objection at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry noting his client was not given sufficient time to peruse documents in order to provide evidence.
Counsel said the matters in question are serious in nature and not providing his client, who is ill and in remand custody, sufficient time to peruse documents is an unjust move.
In response to a commissioner’s query on when Abeysekera received the documents, the witness said officers from the Criminal Investigations Department provided him with a large number of documents at around 12 noon on Monday (25) and he is providing evidence, based on his recollection and not by perusing any of those documents.
Attorney-at-Law Upul Kumarapperuma requested the commission to allow his client to peruse the documents and record evidence on Tuesday (26) evening.
However, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry dismissed the request adding its tenure is to end on the 31st of January, and therefore requested the Ex-CID Chief to provide evidence, based on what he recollects and later provide evidence by perusing documents.
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