Written by Zulfick Farzan
25 Aug, 2021 | 6:00 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Police Chief C. D. Wickramaratne said the criminal investigations into the 2019 April 21st Attacks are confidentially taking place and therefore revealing details immediately to the general public would hinder the on-going judicial process and the investigations.
In a special statement on Wednesday (25), the Inspector General of Police said the 2019 April 21st Attacks was a pre-planned act of terrorism, when considering the events that led to it.
Those events were investigated separately at the time as they were considered as isolated events, said the IGP.
The Inspector General of Police said that the events were not investigated by a centralized governing body and the lack of coordination between the investigating bodies had failed to identity the connection between the events that led to the 2019 April 21st Attacks.
“Therefore, the detectives were not able to conclude that those events were leading to an event that would threaten national security,” said the IGP.
Further, there was no proper coordinating between the respective divisions of the CID that investigated the attacks at the preliminary stage, he said, adding those in the CID at the time did not delve deep into the investigations as there was a need to apprehend all suspects in a short period.
‘They failed to uncover the true details of the attacks due to this,’ he added noting that the CID detectives at the time has assumed that most of the attackers are dead, all those connected have been arrested and all property has been seized, to the conclude the investigations in haste.
The IGP said that the detectives had reached an assumption that the attackers had acted independently to highlight the so-called presence of ISIS in Sri Lanka and that there was no foreign or organized involvement in the attacks.
‘Due to this fact, detectives were not able to uncover the true details during their investigations,’ said the IGP.
‘Those investigations were aimed at naming Zaharan as the leader of the group that carried out the attacks and that his network was either destroyed or arrested,’ said the IGP.
The Inspector General of Police said the previous teams of detectives had only investigated telephone conversations for 04 months leading to the April 21st Attacks.
He said, however, the newly appointed detectives investigated the telephone records dating back to the 29th of June 2014.
The IGP said that as per the renewed investigations;
* A large number of people were interrogated.
* 723 suspects were arrested and 311 of them continue be in remand custody or detention.
* A large number of documents were seized.
* Over 100,000 telephone numbers were analyzed
* A large number of bank accounts were investigated and assets of the terrorists and their associates were seized.
Accordingly, cash and property worth Rs. 365 Million were confiscated by the state & cash and property worth Rs. 168 Million were banned.
He said that the Attorney General had already filed indictments against 46 accused with regard to committing conspiracy over the 2019 April 21st Attacks.
Further, over 100 investigation files were completed and were directed to the Attorney General and a senior team from the AGs Department is studying the investigative material to consider filing indictments.
The IGP said 104 volumes of investigative material were directed to the AGs Department and these volumes comprise of 52,000 pages.
The Inspector General of Police notes that as per the existing laws of the country, a simply opinion cannot be presented to the court.
‘Matters need to be investigated and evidence that will be instrumental in proving a crime beyond reasonable doubt must be produced to the court,’ he stressed.
All investigations are subject to the supervision and direction of the Attorney General, said the IGP.
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