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PCoI report on Easter Sunday attacks now with the AG creates controversy

The final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) to investigate and inquire into the Easter Sunday attacks that was presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been handed over to Attorney General Dappula De Livera.

The report was handed over by the Director Department General - Legal Affairs of the Presidential Secretariat, Hariguptha Rohanadheera, at the Attorney General's Department today (25).

Attorney General Dappula de Livera is not bound by recommendations made by the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) into the 2019 Easter Sunday carnage, or presidential directives in that regard, according to authoritative sources.

They said that the AG couldn’t under any circumstances initiate legal proceedings until he had received the full PCoI report.

Sources pointed out that due to the inordinate delay in sharing the PCoI report with the AG, the department hadn’t been able to take preliminary measures required to initiate the proceedings.

Sources said that a team of officers would take at least six weeks or more to examine the report before tangible measures could be taken.

With the AG scheduled to retire on May 24, 2021, even if the AG's Department received the PCoI, it would be quite a tough task to initiate proceedings ahead of retirement, sources said.

Meanwhile, former President Maithripala Sirisena is currently holding discussions with his lawyers in line with the recommendations made by the final report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019, Environment Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

However, Amaraweera said he is dissatisfied with the outcome of the PCoI, adding that apart from recommending the perpetrators should be punished, the PCoI had to reveal the mastermind of the bombings and the connection with the bombers.

“We expected the PCoI to reveal the mastermind of the attacks and how they were funded with the help of some big shots. We thought those facts will be revealed but the final output of the commission was to charge the former administration,” he noted.

Speaking further, he said that recently it was revealed that 15 women were trained and some are still alive, which could jeopardise national security.

“More than recommending punishing the perpetrators, we expected much bigger revelations from the report,” he concluded.

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