Ex-Senior DIG and SI arrested over Lasantha murder granted bail

Ex-Senior DIG and SI arrested over Lasantha murder granted bail

July 16, 2018   03:08 pm

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Former Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara and former Sub-Inspector (SI) Tissa Sugathapala who were arrested and remanded over the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge, have been granted bail by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Court.

Nanayakkara was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) on February 14 this year for allegedly concealing evidence on the murder of the journalist. 

He was the Senior DIG in charge of Western Province (South) at the time of Lasantha Wickramatunge’s murder while the area of Mount Lavinia also came under his jurisdiction. 

He is facing charges of aiding and abetting in destroying vital evidence in the investigations into the killing of Wickrematunge.

SI Tissa Sugathapala, the former Crimes OIC of the Mount Lavinia Police Station, was taken into custody by the CID on February 2.

Lasantha Wickramatunge, the founding editor of the Sunday Leader, was murdered on January 08, 2009 in Attidiya, Ratmalana. He was killed by two assailants who had followed him on a motorcycle at Attidiya. 

However, investigations into the killing had remained stagnant with no promising progress for around nine years.

However, the present government recommenced investigations under the CID and evidence pertaining to this crime had been surfacing gradually.

The Kalubowila JMO who issued Lasantha’s autopsy report had stated that the cause of death was due to cranio cerebral injuries following a discharge of a firearm. 

However, the reports of the Government Analyst and Prof. Mohan Silva who performed an emergency operation on Wickrematunge soon after his admission to the Kalubowila hospital, had stated that there was no trace of any gunshot injuries.

The body of the slain Sunday Leader Editor was exhumed for a fresh autopsy in September 2016, amidst allegations of a cover up by the previous government. 

Several high-ranking police officers and army intelligence officers have been arrested in connection with the murder case so far, but investigations seem to have become stagnant once again with no new leads surfacing.

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