Easter Sunday Attacks Trial: Fmr SIS Chief Says Had No Inkling of Attack Until 20 April
By Hansi Nanayakkara
Former State Intelligence Senior Chief DIG Nilantha Jayawardena responding to cross-examination by the Defence yesterday (25), said that he did not have any inkling until 20 April 2019, that an attack would take place on 21 April 2019.
Jayawardena was testifying in two cases, filed by the Attorney General in the Colombo High Court, against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former IGP Pujith Jayasundara for failing to take appropriate action in connection with the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.
The two cases were taken up for hearing for a third day before the three-Judge Bench comprising Justices Namal Balalle, Aditya Patabendi and Mohamed Irshadeen.
President’s Counsel Mohan Weerakoon, appearing for former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, cross-examined the witness.
Responding to a question from Counsel Weerakoon, Jayewardene said that if Zaharan and his group had bought clothes for the attack on the 16th, they would have decided on the attack during that time and asked how he could believe information received on the fourth day.
Saying if the Chief of the Intelligence Service himself began to consider this only on 20 April 2019, the President’s Counsel inquired from him what he could say about others. Witness Jayawardena said that even if he was the Director of the Intelligence Service, if a curfew was imposed on the grounds that an attack was going to take place on the following day and if an attack did take place or not, ultimately, he would have been the one to have been found guilty.
The witness testified that although attempts were made to contact the President until the 21st, to provide information regarding the attacks, they had been unable to do so.
Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris and Deputy Solicitor General Sudharshana de Silva appeared for the Attorney General while President’s Counsel Mohan Weerakoon and Attorney-at-Law Roshan Dehiwala appeared for the defendants.
The case is due to be heard further today (26).