Why the Trial against Easter Attack Culprits Takes Time | Daily News
LFJ explains:

Why the Trial against Easter Attack Culprits Takes Time

Last week the 'Lawyers For Justice' (LFJ) held a special press conference in Colombo and clearly explained why it takes time to file cases against the culprits behind the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series.

The Lawyers For Justice is an organisation which acts to help people win their rights, especially human rights and consumer rights etc. without limiting their fight to protect the people’s rights only to monthly press briefings. The organisation focuses on the current issues of the country and the people.

According to LFJ President Attorney-at-Law and Unofficial Magistrate Ravindra Manoj Gamage, it is the responsibility of the lawyers to explain clearly the legal background behind the legal action procedure that is being implemented against the culprits of the Easter Sunday bomb attack series. It is the lawyers who know better than anyone else about the legal background of this issue; it is them who know how to win and handle the case.

"It was the Lawyers for Justice organisation which appeared in the name of the National Collective of Lawyers which fought for justice of the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series from the day one. As a result, I was almost imprisoned by the former head of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) following a complaint made by him against me," he said.

"By now the Opposition politicians who shed crocodile tears have forgotten that all who were connected with the copper factory which manufactured materials to produce suicide bombs were released within 14 days by the CID. This is the very first time in the world history such a number of suspects who were responsible for assisting the killing of nearly 300 people were released on bail. The world history does not have any other similar incident," the LFJ President said.

"Then a questionable Parliamentary Committee was appointed including a person who had been accused of the crime. This committee then commenced an 'investigation' which was totally misleading. The persons who could be considered as suspects for the crime questioned others. All investigations were discouraged and all efforts were made to sweep the crime under the carpet," he said.

"Only after the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa came into power in November 2019, the investigations were streamlined. As an organisation, we do not want to whitewash the President or the Government. We tell what is clearly visible to the entire country," he said.

"Proving a crime before the Judiciary is not simple or easy as many think. It is a very difficult and time-consuming process. The legal standard of proof is 'beyond a reasonable doubt'. For example, if we present 99 concrete points with only one weak point, it is enough for the culprit to escape from the law. Once escaped from the law, there is no way of bringing those culprits before the law for the second time. This is the reality and truth which is hidden by all who poison the Cardinal today. They hide this crucial fact and poison the Cardinal. This type of crime investigation is a very complicated process," Attorney-at-Law Gamage explained.

"Essential and crucial CCTV visuals had been deleted and could not be traced during the Yahapalana regime. Some evidence vanished into thin air from the CID during the Yahapalana regime. This is the bitter history which is now forgotten and no one remembers. During the previous Yahapalana regime every effort was made to put everything connected to this crime under the carpet."

"But now all prime suspects connected to the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series are in custody and some of them are leading political figures. A lot of people said some of them would never be taken into custody or never be in remand custody even for a short time. But they are in custody for months now."

"The Lawyers For Justice highly admires all efforts that are being made by the Cardinal in order to bring justice to the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series. He stands by the people who died and suffer. The LFJ stands by him."

"But we very clearly noticed that certain individuals and groups have been very cunningly poisoning him for a long time in order to push the case hurriedly without finalising all evidence properly and without leaving any loopholes for the culprits to escape from the law. Those conspirators know very well that this will allow the culprits to escape from the law. They are acting according to a well-planned strategy to save the culprits."

We, the Lawyers For Justice, humbly requests the Cardinal not to get caught in this trap and not to be misled by them. Just after the crime, the Cardinal said the crime was internationally planned. Then demanding justice from the international bodies/countries will be similar to demanding justice from the culprits."

"We all know that Islamic extremism exists in Sri Lanka. Now it is clearly visible that certain individuals and groups try their best to direct the investigations into some other direction and not towards the identification of the connection between the crime and Islamic extremism. No talks at all about Islamic extremism which destroyed Mawanella Buddha statues etc before this crime. Maybe the same extremists who launched the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series are behind these shameful efforts as well. Now their prime objective is to create a conflict between the Cardinal and the Government. They also try to create a conflict between Buddhists and others at the same time. In order to achieve this target, they say the Government is not conducting the investigations properly. As experienced lawyers, we see that very clearly."

"We stood by the Cardinal every time. We have only one very strong and kind request to make. It is, be patient. Otherwise the prime suspects will escape from the law using the micro size loopholes in evidence. Justice can never be expected for the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series if this happens. We never accuse the Cardinal. We all stand by him. He stopped a bloodshed in the country on that day."

"There is another crucial example for the gravity of the process which cannot leave any loopholes for the culprits to escape from the law. All local and foreign media reported this last week. The trial of the Paris attack in France which took place six years ago, commenced last week. That is six long years after the attack which killed 130 innocent people in 2015. The reason why the trial got delayed was due to the complexity of finding concrete evidence and closing all loopholes that can be used by the culprits to escape from the law."

"All the police officers who were on duty on that day should be investigated and punished if found guilty. They cannot be freed because they are Buddhists or for any other reason. All who are responsible including political leaderships from both political parties that ruled the country under the Yahapalana Government should be investigated and punished if found guilty."

"We request all relevant authorities not to file cases against the culprits of the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack series without completing the investigations and fully collecting all available concrete evidence. This is the only way of doing the justice for the victims. Not letting the culprits to escape from the law using micro size weaknesses in evidence is what matters. Nothing else."

LFJ National Organiser Attorney-at-Law Waruna Jayasinghe, and LFJ Executive Committee Members Attorneys-at-Law Geethma Fernando and Nadee Naakandana also addressed the media.


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