‘IGP did not take intel on April Attacks seriously’ – Witness

‘IGP did not take intel on April Attacks seriously’ – Witness

‘IGP did not take intel on April Attacks seriously’ – Witness

Written by Zulfick Farzan

25 Nov, 2021 | 6:47 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Former State Intelligence Service Chief & Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena testified that he received intel that terror attacks targeting eight locations would take place on the 21st of April 2019.

He had received the information at 4:14 PM on the 20th of April 2019, less than 24 hours before the attacks took place.

The Senior Police Officer testified at the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar in the case filed against Ex-Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara and Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, who are charged under 855 counts individually, with failing to prevent the 2019 April 21st Terror Attacks.

The witness said that he immediately informed the then Secretary of Defence, the Inspector General of Police, and other responsible officials, of the information that he had received.

Jayawardena told the court that he informed the Inspector General of Police over the phone about the intel on the 20th of April 2019.

However, the Police Chief did not pay special attention to the intel and therefore, the information was passed on to the Defence Secretary, said the witness.

He told the court that he informed the Defence Secretary that the Police Chief was not taking the intel seriously.

Further, Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena told the court that it was not his intention to conceal the information, he received over a possible attack by Zaharan Hashim and his group of terrorists before 20th April 2019, from the Security Committee Meeting dated the 9th of April 2019.

However, he testified that he did not make an attempt to raise the matter for discussion considering the fact that he would have to face the issues that would follow after he makes such a revelation given the political situation that prevailed in Sri Lanka at the time.

Sri Lanka’s Former State Intelligence Service Chief & Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena told the court that he cannot be held responsible for not taking measures to prevent the attacks, at a time when he had responsibly given credible intel on the attacks.

He told the court that as Intelligence Officers all they can do is direct the intel to the necessary divisions.

“The President was not in the country at the time. Therefore, the responsibility of national security is vested with the Defence Secretary. The information I received on 20th April was passed on to the Defence Secretary the moment I received it,” he told the court.

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