AG perusing eight PCOI files | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Easter Sunday terror attacks

AG perusing eight PCOI files

14 February, 2021

Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd) Sarath Weerasekera said the Attorney General (AG) is currently studying eight files submitted to him on the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCOI) mandated to probe the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks to frame charges against the suspects.

All eight files of the Easter Sunday terror attacks have been forwarded to the AG and charges filed against 32 persons for conspiracy and murder. The AG has sent these files back asking for minor things such as photocopies and downloading certain documents into CDs, the Minister told the Sunday Observer yesterday.

The Minister said in addition to the eight files submitted to the AG, there may be some fresh evidence in the report of the PCOI which investigated the eight multiple terror attacks on Easter Sunday in 2019. Asked whether the recommendations of the Presidential Commission report will be implemented without any delay, Minister Weerasekera said it is entirely up to the AG who has the sole authority to frame charges and file cases against the suspects. The Minister said the AG has appointed a board of 12 lawyers mainly for this purpose.

He said in addition to the charges filed against 32 persons, another 251 suspects are currently being held on Detention Orders for further investigations. He said the report of the PCOI which probed the Easter Sunday attacks will be out soon and tabled in Parliament. Minister Weerasekera said that the intelligence units are the backbone of a country’s national security. The Easter Sunday attacks were carried out due to the former Yahapalana Government’s attempt to destabilise the intelligence units. However, when President Gotabaya Rajapaksa assumed office steps were taken to strengthen the intelligence units. He said the Government could not be satisfied with the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed by the Yahapalana Government to probe the Easter Sunday attacks. He said it is almost two years since the Easter Sunday attacks which claimed the lives of 269 people and injured over 500. The PCOI which probed the terror attacks presented its final report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on February 1. The Commission concluded its hearings on January 27. Following the Easter Sunday attacks, former President Maithripala Sirisena appointed a three-member Committee on September 20, 2019 to investigate the terror attacks. The term of the Commission was to end on December 20 last year, before it was extended till January 31 by the President. Several politicians and other persons, including former President Maithripala Sirisena and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appeared before the PCOI. Former Secretaries, former Inspector General of Police, former Army Commanders, Director of State Intelligence and relatives of terrorists and experts also testified before the Commission.