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2024.03.06- 45th day of the Main Easter Attacks Criminal Trial against 24 Accused

2024.03.06- 45th day of the Main Easter Attacks Criminal Trial against 24 Accused
Date : 06/03/2024
Case number : HC(TAB) 2972/21
Brief update:
The subject case was taken up before the Trial at Bar for the evidence of the 54th witness (witness no. 1315). Witnesses No 1297, 1281 and 1291 were also present before the court. Even though the court has issued summons for witness no 1277, he was not present before the court. He was informed to come to court on 7th March 2024.
Additional solicitor General Ms. Haripriya Jayasundara informed the court that the witnesses are from Baticalola (from a long distance) and requested the court to pay travelling fees for them. Therefore, Honorable judges ordered the registrar to give travelling fees for the witnesses who come from a long distance.
The 23rd accused was not present in the court as he was sick and his lawyer was present before the court.
Witness no. 1315 is a pastor who was in the Zion church when the Easter bomb blast happened. His further evidence in chief was conducted on this day. In his evidence he told the incident happened on the day of Easter attack. According to the witness another pastor has informed him that someone had come to the church. Then the witness met him. The bomber had introduced himself as Umar and had said that he came to pray for his mother. Thoug the witness has directed the person to a place to pray he has not gone to that place and he was waiting for a call. Due to the strange behavior of the bomber, pastor has informed one person to tell Ummar to come on Wednesday because prayers for the sick people generally happen on that day. Then he has heard some arguments outside the assembly. At the time the pastor tried to go there a bomb blast happened. When the blast happened, Motorcycles of those who participated in the prayers were caught on fire. It spread and a van also caught on fire. Due to the fire, it was not possible to move the injured people through the front gate. Therefore a wall was broken and they were taken away.
The evidence of the witness further reveals that there were about 400 people and about 31 people were deceased while about 85 people were injured.
Some relevant production has been sent by Baticalola Magistrate court. Some photos & CCTV footage were shown to witnesses and marked as evidence. Through CCTV footages the witness recognized the person who introduced himself as Umar. Among those pictures there were pictures showing the bodies of the dead.
The witness further testified that his son also died because of this incident and he mentioned that the other relatives also died because of this blast. There were occasions that the witness became very sensitive while testifying.
The lawyers for the accused informed the court that they do not intend to cross-examine the witness.
The court warned Witnesses Nos. 1297, 1281 and 1291 to be present before the court on the 7th March 2024.
Next dates: The case will be taken up on the 07th of March 2024 at 1.00 p.m for further trial.

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