Crime & Justice

Sri Lanka begins trial in 2019 Easter bombings case

Colombo, Nov 23 (EFE).- The trial against 25 people accused in the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, in which 269 people were killed and hundreds injured, kicked off on Tuesday amid heavy security measures.

The accused presented before the Colombo High Court on Tuesday include Mohammad Naufer, who the Sri Lankan investigators have accused of being the mastermind behind the coordinated attacks, local media outlets reported.

The police have slapped over 23,000 charges against the accused, who were taken to court amid heavy security arrangement and will be next presented for a hearing on Jan. 12.

The serial bombings in three churches and three luxury hotels in and around Colombo on Apr. 21, 2019 had left 269 people dead, including 45 children, and injured over 400 people.

These attacks were claimed by the Islamic State terror groups and carried out by the local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamaat.

A special commission appointed by the Sri Lankan government had presented a report over the attacks to the parliament in which it claimed that former president Maithripala Sirisena and other high-level officials of his government were guilty of “criminal negligence and lack of decisive action,” having failed to fulfill their duties.

Christian groups and family members of the victims have repeatedly alleged that the security forces and the government ignored warnings of an imminent Islamist attack.

On Monday, another trial began in the Colombo High Court against former inspector general of police Pujith Jayasundara, and the defense secretary of Sri Lanka at the time, Hemasiri Fernando, for their alleged negligence in being unable to prevent the terror attacks. EFE


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