Many top ranking Police officials have raised concern over the granting of bail to nine suspects, linked to the Easter Sunday bombings, by Colombo Additional Magistrate, Priyantha Liyanage despite opposition raised by the Wellampitiya Police and blaming the Officer-in-Charge of the Wellampitiya Police, Gamini Hewavitharana for giving bail to suspects who were working at a copper factory belonging to one of the suicide bombers.
They claim that at a crucial juncture such as this, where the armed forces are striving to eliminate terrorism in the country, it is not correct for the Judiciary to act in a manner which would tarnish the image of the Police Department.
They further claim that the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) should conduct an investigation and release Hewavithana from false allegations made against him.
Hewavithana also lodged a complaint with the JSC in this connection.
According to sources, Hewavithana had requested the Court to remand the suspects according to Section 14 of the Bail Act, No. 30 of 1997. However, the request had been removed from Court reports, sources claim.
Two top Police officials told Ceylon Today that the Court has released nine suspects of the copper factory to fulfill somebody else’s agenda.
“We don’t know what the objective is. It could be political or otherwise. However, we cannot allow other parties to level allegations at Police officers who have given their heart and soul to eliminate terrorism in the country, especially after the Easter Sunday attack,” officials said.
When we contacted Hewavithana, he claimed that he has been accused for no wrong doing on his part.
“I fear that I will suffer injustice and People look at me as if I am a traitor. But I have always abided by the law. I believe I will be released from this accusation,” he said.
He further said he had sent a file containing reports of the investigations carried out by the Police on the 10 suspects of the copper factory in Wellampitiya to Acting Inspector General of Police, Chandana Wickremeratna.
The owner Insaf Ahmed was the suicide bomber who blew himself up at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel on Easter Sunday.
After the incident, ten workers from the copper factory were arrested by Police on 22 April.
Colombo Additional Magistrate Liyanage granted bail to nine of them on 6 May. The 10th suspect was remanded.
An extensive investigation was carried out by the Special Investigations Unit against Hewavithana and some other Police officers following the protest of the public against the granting of bail to terrorist suspects.