Mahara prison riot could have been averted if guidelines were followed in April
Attorney General Dappula de Livera yesterday said he had given guidelines and instructions to Inspector General of Police (IGP) C.D Wickramarathne on two occasions to take necessary steps to reduce the number of inmates in prisons.
He said he first gave the instructions last April and if it had been implemented, the Mahara prison riot could have been averted.
"I have on several occasions advised the police to reduce the number of prisoners in prisons during this epidemic period. On two occasions I instructed the IGP. I have given guidelines in April to strictly enforce them,” he said.
The Attorney General, said the IGP did not follow any of those guidelines and instructions. “I do not know why, but again the Minister requested me to reduce the number of prisoners and asked to advise the police. Then those guidelines and instructions were put into action by the end of November. But unfortunately the Mahara incident would not have happened if my advice had been implemented in April," he said during the opening ceremony of a new building.
Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya and Justice Minister Mohamed Ali Sabri also participated in the ceremony.
The new 12-storey building was constructed at a cost of Rs. 12 billion and the foundation stone was laid in 2016.
Secretary to the Ministry of Justice Priyantha Mayadunne, senior officials of the Attorney General's Department and a number of lawyers were present at the occasion.