Hemasiri Fernando granted bail

Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando, who was remanded over the Easter Sunday bomb attacks, has been granted conditional bail today (05).

The order was delivered by the Colombo High Court Judge Manjula Thilakaratne.

When the revision application filed by the former Defence Secretary was taken up for hearing this morning, Deputy Solicitor General Dileepa Peiris, who appeared on behalf of the Attorney General, raised no objections for granting bail to the defendant.

Accordingly, the High Court judge ordered to release Fernando on two cash bails each worth Rs. 250,000 and two personal bails each amount to Rs. 2.5 million. He also mandated that the defendant’s sureties be residents of Colombo District.

The judge also banned the defendant from travelling overseas without judicial permission and ordered him to hand over his passport to the court. The Controller General of Immigration and Emigration will be informed of the court’s decision.

The defendant was advised not to pressurize the witnesses of the case. He was also ordered to report to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the last Sunday of every month. The judge then instructed that the registrar of Colombo Magistrate’s Court be informed of this order.

Fernando was arrested alongside IGP Pujith Jayasundara for allegedly failing to prevent the coordinated terror attacks that claimed the lives of over 250 persons on Easter Sunday. On October 31st last year, the duo filed a revision application with the Court of Appeal requesting to release them on bail.

The petitioners had stated that they were arrested by the CID and later remanded by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court under murder charges, for allegedly failing to prevent the coordinated terror attacks even after receiving forewarning on the attacks.

However, the Colombo Magistrate’s Court later released them citing the inadequacy of evidence to charge them for murder, the duo has said in their petition. They had also highlighted the Attorney General’s subsequent revision application against the Colombo Magistrate’s Court’s decision to grant them bail.

The Colombo High Court, considering the Attorney General’s revision application, revoked the Colombo Magistrate’s bail order and ordered to remand them further, the petitioners added.

Accordingly, the IGP and the former Defence Secretary had sought the Appeals Court to revoke the Colombo High Court’s order, which voided the Colombo Magistrate’s bail order.