PCoI is only an additional matter- Minister

Buddhika Samaraweera | Published: 6:27 PM Mar 5 2021
Local PCoI is only an additional matter- Minister

Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019 is only an additional matter relevant to the ongoing investigations into the bombings and the Attorney General (AG) has the power to decide whether or not to use its findings in investigations, said Minister of Public Security, Rear Admiral (retired) Sarath Weerasekara.

He also said that almost all the evidence required to prosecute the suspects involved in the bombings mentioned in the PCoI report has been handed over to the AG and that the Ministry of Defence, however, could keep notes containing sensitive matters in it related to the national security.

Meanwhile, in response to a query about Pulastini Rajendran alias Sarah Jasmine, the wife of Atchchi Muhammadu Muhammadu Hastun, the suicide bomber at St. Sebastian's Church in Katuwapitiya, Weerasekera said it has not been revealed as to whether she is really alive or has fled to India. However, the Minister said that further investigations are being carried out into the matter.

“There were about eight bombings on Easter Sunday in 2019. All reports regarding those eight incidents have been submitted to the AG. Also, details of 32 suspects directly involved in the bombings had been reported to the AG on charges of murder and conspiracy,” he further said.

He said that the AG had pointed out certain deficiencies in the reports and that steps were taken to rectify such deficiencies and send them back to him from time to time. He also said that another 241 suspects have been remanded on are detained in connection with the Easter Sunday bombings.

Speaking at a media briefing held in Colombo on Friday (5), Weerasekara further said that in addition to the Easter Sunday bombings, reports have also been submitted to the AG regarding the killing of two Police officers in the Vavunathivu area and the vandalizing of several Buddha statues in the Mawanella area.

He also said that the CID was studying the report of the PCoI at length and that the father of the suicide bomber of the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo, Mohomed Ibrahim is also being questioned at present. 

In addition, investigations are being carried out into the alleged connection between MP Rishad Bathiudeen and the copper factory in Wellampitiya owned by one of the suicide bombers, the Minister said. He also said that there had been some delays as some analyst reports have not been received thus far.

Buddhika Samaraweera | Published: 6:27 PM Mar 5 2021

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