The Attorney General had filed 23,270 charges against 25 accused over the Easter Sunday Terror Attacks which happened on April 21, 2019 killing 269 people.
Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatte is the Presiding Judge of the panel while High Court Judges Amal Ranaraja and Navaratne Marasinghe are the other members of the Trial-at-Bar.
The Indictments have been filed in connection with eight attacks on the Kochchikade St. Anthony’s Church, Katuwapitiya St. Sebastian’s Church, The Kingsbury Hotel, Shangri- la Colombo, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Batticaloa Zion Church and Dehiwala Tropical Inn against 25 accused including Naufer Mowlawi, Sajid Mawlawi, Mohammed Milhan, Sadik Abdullah, Aadam Lebbe alias Gafoor Mama, Mohammed Sansadeen and Mohammed Rizwan.
Upon the request made by the Attorney General on August 10, 2021, the Chief Justice appointed a special Trial-at-Bar to try the case.
The indictments were filed against accused including charges of conspiracy, preparation, aiding and abetting, collection of explosives and weapons, murder and attempted murder.
Meanwhile two cases have been filed against former IGP Pujith Jayasundara and former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando under 864 charges in the Colombo High Court and ten other suspects in the Batticaloa High Court in connection with the Easter Sunday Attacks.
The Chief Justice has appointed special three-judge panels to hear the cases, which are being heard in the Colombo and Batticaloa High Courts.
Speaking earlier, The Inspector General (IGP) C.D. Wickramaratne said those involved in the Easter Sunday terror attacks will be able to creep through the law’s loopholes and escape punishment, if the investigations are not done properly. “Hence there was a need for watertight cases against them,” he said. Commenting on the Easter Sunday terror attack investigations he said that although the police can arrest persons alleged to be involved in the incident, if the investigations are not done properly, those involved will be able to creep through the loopholes of the law and escape punishment.