Former Sri Lanka officials failed to prevent attacks: AG

Sri Lanka’s police chief and its former Defence Secretary should be charged with crimes against humanity for failing to prevent attacks on churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 250 people in April, the Attorney General said on Monday.

The attacks, claimed by the militant group Islamic State, took place despite repeated warnings from Indian intelligence that an attack was imminent.

Attorney General Dappula de Livera wrote to the acting police chief urging him to bring charges against his predecessor Pujith Jayasundara and the former Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Hemasiri Fernando.

“There is sufficient information to prove negligence of official duties … and criminal negligence. It is also considered a grave crime against humanity under international law,” Mr. Livera said in the letter.

President Maithripala Sirisena has accused Mr. Fernando and Mr. Jayasundara of failing to act on an April 4 intelligence report about an attack planned for April 21, Easter Sunday. Both of them have denied all allegations.

Mr. Jayasundara last month told a parliamentary committee that the President had asked him to take the blame for the bombings and resign, promising him a diplomatic posting in return.


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