Sri Lanka’s police chief and former defence secretary were released on bail yesterday, a week after they were arrested over allegations that they failed to prevent the Easter Day bomb attacks that killed more than 250 people.
Colombo magistrates’ court granted their release and will hear the case on July 22, Anuja Premaratne, who is representing both the accused, told Reuters.
The Criminal Investigation Department last week arrested Inspector General of Police Pujith Jayasundara and former secretary to the Ministry of Defence Hemasiri Fernando while they were both receiving treatment in hospital. The two were remanded in custody a day later.
They are the first two state officials to be arrested for failing to prevent the attacks, claimed by the militant group Islamic State. The bombings took place despite repeated warnings from Indian intelligence that an attack was imminent.
President Maithripala Sirisena has accused Fernando and Jayasundara of failing to act on an April 4 intelligence report about possible attacks. Jayasundara refused to quit and was later asked to go on compulsory leave.