Monday, March 29, 2010

Brigadier 'involved' in Lasantha murder

The Attorney General (AG) of Sri Lanka has informed the Supreme Court that a senior military officer was involved in the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor, Lasantha Wickramathunga.

In a written submission to the court, the AG has told the courts that Brig Duminda Keppetiwalana who was arrested on suspicion on conspiring to overthrow the government, was involved in the murder and the assassination attempt on another senior journalist, Upali Tennakoon.

Mr. Wickramathunga, a strong critic of Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, was killed in a busy road in the Colombo district on 08 January, last year.

Editor assaulted

Editor of Rivira Sinhala weekly, Upali Tennakoon, has left the country after he and his wife were attacked with iron rods and other weapons days later in Gampaha district.

At lease 53 military personnel, serving and retired officers, were arrested by the authorities after the 26 January presidential election on charges of conspiring to overthrow the government together with main opposition candidate, Gen (retd.) Sarath Fonseka.

More than 23 of them were later released by the courts; Brig Keppetiwalana is the most senior serving military officer to be arrested.

Gen Fonseka is facing two court martials on charges of involving in politics while in uniform and corruption in procurements.

The AG made the submission in response to the Fundamental Rights (FR) petition filed by Brig Keppetiwalana against his continuous detention.

Brig Keppetiwalana's involvement was revealed after investigations on phone records, the AG has said.

The Supreme Court has granted permission to further detain Brig Keppetiwalana, under emergency regulations, until 29 April.

© BBC Sinhala

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