Written by Zulfick Farzan
26 Nov, 2021 | 11:07 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Former State Intelligence Service Chief & Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena, a key witness in the case filed over the 2019 April 21st Attacks was cross-examined on Friday (26) after four days of providing evidence for the prosecution.
He was cross-examined by Senior Counsel Roshan Dehiwala and President’s Counsel Mohan Weerakoon at the Colombo Permanent High Court Trial-at-Bar.
The Senior Police Officer testified in the case filed against Ex-Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara and Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, who are charged under 855 counts individually, failing to prevent the 2019 April 21st Terror Attacks.
The witness told the court that on the 20th of April 2021 at 4:12 PM he received information that Zaharan Hashim and his religious extremists were to carry out suicide bomb attacks on eight locations including a leading Methodist Church in Colombo and hotels frequented by Indian nationals, between 6 AM and 9 PM on the 21st of April 2019.
He told Justice Mohamed Irshadeen that the information was passed on to the Defence Secretary and the contents of the information have now been proved to be credible.
Counsel appearing for the defendant Hemasiri Fernando questioned the witness if he was in possession of any evidence to prove that he in fact had informed his client over the phone regarding the information he received.
The witness said he had telecommunication reports and no other material, adding that he immediately informed the Defence Secretary by SMS and Whatsapp from his phone as it was the most suitable means to ensure that quick action was taken.
The witness said that if he was returned to the office and attempted to provide the information in writing with documentation, he would have only been able to provide the documents to the relevant personnel only after the attacks had taken place.
He informed the court that what was important was not the mode of communication by providing the information as soon as possible.
Sri Lanka’s Former State Intelligence Service Chief & Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena also told the court during the cross-examination that when he was summoned to the Defence Secretary’s office on the 21st of April 2019 after several suicide attacks, then-Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was also present at the premises.
“When Ranil Wickremesinghe saw me, he asked me about the situation. I told him that six attacks had taken place and there was information that two more attacks would take place. In addition, I told him that there was information about two vehicles rigged with explosives. I told him to remain indoors and not move out. I told him so, because the Senior Officer in charge of his security made a request from me to do so. He told me that the Prime Minister does not listen to their warnings, but would listen if I said so,” the witness told the court.
The examination of evidence in the case filed against Ex-Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara was postponed to the 29th of November 2021.
In addition, the examination in the case filed against Ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando was postponed to the 13th of December 2021.
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