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Sri Lankan AG question why 2 officials haven't been arrested

AP  |  Colombo 

Sri Lankan prosecutors have asked police to explain why two former senior officials have not been arrested for alleged negligence leading to the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people at churches and hotels.

The attorney general's department said in a letter to acting police chief CD Wickremaratne that it had ordered former Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former police chief Pujith Jayasundara named as suspects and produced before a court because a presidential commission of inquiry found grounds to charge the two officials with dereliction of duties and criminal negligence.

The letter, dated Monday, said crimes the officials are suspected of having committed fall within "grave crimes against humanity" under international law.

The state-owned newspaper Daily said police sought to question Fernando and Jayasundara but both had been admitted to hospitals.

Fernando resigned after the blasts and Jayasundara was sent on compulsory leave.

Since the April 21 suicide attacks, the government has acknowledged it received intelligence reports about the plot beforehand.

Both Fernando and Jayasundara appeared before a parliamentary committee inquiring into the blasts and described the security failures. President Maithripala Sirisena, however, opposed the parliamentary committee conducting a separate inquiry while court cases were being heard on the blasts.

Fernando told the committee that Sirisena wasn't easily accessible for discussions. Jayasundara said Sirisena asked him after the blasts to resign to take responsibility and promised he would have his name cleared in any subsequent inquiry.

Jayasundara also said Sirisena had asked him not to attend National Security Council meetings since last October, when Sirisena fired Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in a power struggle that triggered a seven-week political crisis.

Wickremesinghe was subsequently reinstated by the Supreme Court.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 02 2019. 14:25 IST
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