Sri Lanka Easter bombings trial kicks off; 23,000 charges filed
The Easter bombings carried out by terrorists in Sri Lanka in 2019 had left 267 people dead, and around 500 injured.
Two years ago, in 2019, Sri Lanka shook under the impact of a series of deadly bombings during Easter. The attack had left 267 people dead, and around 500 injured. Now, after a fairly long period, the trial in the bombings case has begun. Around 45 foreign nationals were among the dead.
As many as 25 men accused of masterminding the Easter bombings are facing the trial. Though all of the eight suicide bombers who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks had died in the blasts, the trial will be conducted on suspects charged with conspiring to murder, aiding and abetting the attacks, and collecting arms and ammunition, which paved the way for the attacks.
Suspects include associates, relatives of suicide bombers
The suspects include the father of two of the suicide bombers, and another Sri Lankan national suspected of being affiliated with the Islamic State, said a BBC report. The suspects are associates and relatives of the suicide bombers. They all have been charged for their involvement in masterminding the terror attacks. The bombings, it may be recalled, had been carried out in three five-star hotels and three churches.
Close to 23,000 charges have been filed against the suspects, and the trial will witness as many as 1,215 witnesses testifying.
Govt criticised for delaying bombings case trial
Meanwhile, attorneys to the suspects have termed the trial to be a futile exercise, considering the huge number of charges imposed and also the big number of witnesses being lined up. There is a general opinion among lawyers in the country that the trial could drag on unendingly when one looks at the huge numbers of the charges and witnesses.
The two-year delay in kicking off the Easter bombings trial had brought much criticism against the government. Many belonging to the majority Christian community, including relatives of the hapless victims who lost their lives in the terrorist bombings, had charged the administration with delaying the process of trial. They have been seeking action against all those who were involved in the attacks.