Easter bombings: Sri Lanka files charges against 25 suspects
On April 21, 2019, suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts at three churches and several luxury hotels in the country.
Sri Lanka has filed charges against 25 suspects in connection with the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings that killed 269 people, AP reported on Wednesday.
On April 21, 2019, nine suicide bombers carried out a series of blasts at three churches and several luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. While the Islamic State had claimed responsibility, the investigators had blamed the National Thowheed Jamath extremist group for the attacks.
Authorities have now filed a total of 23,270 charges against the accused under Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism law. According to the president’s office, the charges include conspiring to murder, aiding and abetting, collecting arms and ammunition and attempted murder.
The attorney general has requested the country’s chief justice to designate a special three-member high court bench to ensure that the cases are taken up quickly.
Investigation into attacks
Last month, the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka wrote to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, expressing concerns about the government’s handing of the investigation into the attacks, Al Jazeera reported.
The letter had sought legal action against former President Maithripala Sirisena for negligence. The bombings had taken place despite repeated warnings from Indian intelligence that an attack was imminent in the country.
Rajapaksa had subsequently ordered an investigation into whether some members of intelligence agencies knew and met those behind the attacks, according to Al Jazeera.
A commission of inquiry also recommended that criminal proceedings should be brought against Sirisena for “criminal liability on his part” for the attacks. The commission was set by the former president himself.