Lasantha murder: army official further remanded
The Warrant Officer (WO) attached to the army intelligence unit who was arrested in connection with the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge has been remanded until August 11. The suspect was remanded after being produced before the Mt. Lavinia Magistrate’s Court this morning (03). The CID was also given permission to produce the suspect before the Gampaha Magistrate on August 08 over an attack on Chief Editor of Rivira Sinhala newspaper Upali Tennakoon in 2009.
Police said that the army officer was arrested over the abduction, unlawful detention and questioning of an individual, who was the driver of Wickramatunge’s vehicle at the time of the assassination. The CID was granted permission to detain and interrogate the suspect for 48 hours after he was produced before court earlier. Wickrematunge, founding editor of privately-run newspaper Sunday Leader, was shot dead while he drove to work in January 2009.
Wickrematunga was a staunch critic of the administration of then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, which has insisted it had no role in the editor’s killing. Sri Lanka’s new government had reopened investigations into the murder after coming to power in January last year. In February, the police released sketches of two persons who are suspected to be involved in the assassination.
The Army Commander had recently appointed two Court of Inquiries to investigate the misplaced documents in the cases pertaining to the murder of Wickramatunge and the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.f