07/10/2019, 09.53
SRI LANKA
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Easter massacres inquiry: "No" to murder charge for two senior officials

 The head of the police and the former secretary of defense are the first two heads who fell in the parliamentary inquiry.  The April 21 massacres caused the death of 258 people.  According to the magistrate, there is not enough evidence to accuse them of "grave crimes against humanity".

 

Colombo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A court in Sri Lanka yesterday rejected a request for indictment for murder against two senior officials of the state arrested last week.  Police chief Pujith Jayasundara and the former secretary of Defense Hemasiri Fernando, the first two names that emerged in the parliamentary inquiry that investigates the Easter massacres.

On 2 July, the police chief and former defense secretary were arrested for negligence: the prosecution considers them guilty of doing nothing to prevent the massacres carried out by Islamic terrorists on 21 April.  Those massacres caused the death of 258 people and the wounding of another 500. At the moment both defendants are in hospital for health reasons, and they did not attend the court hearing.

Dappula de Livera, state prosecutor, had requested that they be indicted for murder, because their attitude was tantamount to having carried out "serious crimes against humanity".  Instead the Colombo Lanka magistrate Jayaratne claims that there is not enough evidence to accuse them of such a serious crime.  For their part, the two senior officials claim to have alerted the president's office;  however, Maithripala Sirisena would never have "taken the threats seriously".

After the massacres in the three churches and three luxury hotels of Colombo, it was discovered that the Indian secret services had issued three terrorism alerts in April, the last two hours before the massacres.  All warnings were ignored by the authorities in Colombo and even President Sirisena, considered the real person responsible for the government inactivity, was forced to admit to having been "kept in the dark" of the information sent to the competent offices

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