The Batticaloa High Court rejected the bail petition of the wife of the alleged ringleader of the Easter Sunday attack, Zahran Hashim, on Monday.
In 2019, a series of bomb attacks, targeted churches and luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing 279 people and injuring more than 500. The attacks, staged by eight bombers who all killed themselves in the attack, were members of National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ), reportedly led by Hashim.
Last November, Hashim’s wife, Abdul Cader Fathima Sadia testified before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating the bombings. The Colombo Telegraph reported that Fathima Sadia had provided evidence regarding NTJ's funding and revealed the names of “high officials” linked to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s administration. Read more here.
Numerous Sri Lankan parliamentarians have claimed that members of the NTJ were paid by Sri Lankan intelligence and had established links with Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
A 2019 parliamentary report found that Sri Lanka’s security forces received intelligence of an Easter Sunday attack but may have allowed it to proceed in order to “create chaos and instil fear” ahead of presidential elections. The 2019 elections saw a landslide victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who campaigned on a Sinhala nationalist platform and attacked the previous administration for allegedly weakening national security. See the full text of the report here.
Judge M Abdullah stated the case would return to court on December 13.