Former National Intelligence Chief gets reprieve as witness in Easter Attack case
The Attorney General yesterday informed the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar that former National Intelligence Chief Sisira Mendis, the third prosecution witness in the case, will not be summoned as a witness over the case filed against former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando on charges of failing to prevent Easter Sunday attacks despite receiving enough information to prevent attack.
Witness Sisira Mendis appeared before the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar yesterday to record his testimony and Deputy Solicitor General Sudharshana Silva made this announcement after presenting the statements made by his counsel and Sisira Mendis’ health condition to court.
President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe appearing for Mendis informed court that his client had come to court hoping to testify and that he was suffering from a health problem.
Deputy Solicitor General Sudharshana Silva, appearing for the Attorney General sought from court to call for a medical report from the Judicial Medical Officer as they could not make a decision regarding witnesses’ current health condition. He further said that the witness was already receiving physiotherapy treatment and had given a seven-day, 600-page testimony before the Presidential Commission on the Easter Attacks, which called for medical reports to be issued before testifying in court.
President’s Counsel Mohan Weerakoon, appearing for the accused Hemasiri Fernando, stated that as the witness was not mentally ill, he was not opposed to record Mendis’ testimony later.
After considering the circumstances, the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar announced that the witness could be called to testify. Following that order, the case was re-called to consider the prosecutions’ opinion and the Deputy Solicitor General informed court that witness Sisira Mendis’ evidence would not be called now.
The Deputy Solicitor General informed court that evidence would be presented at the next court hearing that an Easter attack had taken place and that nearly 300 civilians had been killed and several others injured.