Sri Lankan authorities yesterday ordered the first criminal charges against security personnel for “lapses” before the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 258 people.
Nine police officers will face “criminal investigations” for failing to act on warnings ahead of the April 21 bombings on three churches and three hotels carried out by Islamic State-backed jihadists.
In a notice ordering the probe, Attorney General Dappula de Livera said an inquiry commission appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena had found the officers liable for criminal negligence.
All nine were senior officers in the districts where the attacks were carried out.
Authorities have admitted that warnings sent by neighbouring India of an impending attack by a local group, the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) were ignored.
Forty-five foreign nationals were among the dead and 500 people were injured in the attacks. The tourist hotspot has been under a state of emergency since.
Sri Lanka’s State Intelligence Service (SIS) has been criticised for failing to act on the Indian warnings.
Sirisena, who is also defence minister and law and order minister, has also faced allegations that he could have prevented the attacks.
The president has objected to a parliamentary investigation into the attacks and ordered police not to cooperate. But the hearings have gone ahead and police have testified before legislators.