Nov 23, Colombo: The case against Naufer Mawlawi and 24 other accused in the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks will be taken up again before Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar on January 12, 2022.
The trial of the 25 men accused of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, which killed nearly 270 people and injured over 500 people when churches and luxury hotels were targeted by Islamic terrorist suicide bombers on 21 April 2019, commenced today before a special three-judge bench of the High Court comprising Judges Damith Thotawatta, Amal Ranaraja and Nawarathna Marasinghe.
When the case was heard today the indictment was handed over to the 15th defendant in the case, who was not indicted before when the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar last month served charges on the accused.
Fifteen of the 25 defendants asked the court to provide them with a Tamil version of the indictment and one defendant requested an English version.
The bench granted the request of the Attorney General and the Bar Association of Sri Lanka to give time to fulfill a request made by 12 defendants from the courts to provide Tamil speaking lawyers at the government’s expense and postponed the case to January next year.
When the case was taken up, the accused, who were being held in various prisons in the island, were produced before the court under tightened security by prisons officials and police officers.
The three-judge bench was appointed following a request made by Attorney General Sanjaya Rajaratnam to Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya to appoint a three-judge bench to hear the case with 23,270 charges filed in connection with this incident which caused a great stir in the society.
When the accused were produced before the court today, the court road in front of the court complex was blocked by police roadblocks and the road in front of the court complex and the court complex were heavily guarded by armed STF personnel.
After intense scrutiny by elite security officials, only journalists were admitted to the courtroom where the case was heard.