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Sri Lanka: Major breakthrough in probe on the assault on former Editor Upali Tennakoon ; fingerprints match

Image: Upali thennaloon soon after the attack, January 23, 2009. (AP photo)

Investigators have made a major breakthrough on the probe into the assault on former Editor Upali Tennakoon and are set to arrest a key suspect, The Sunday Morning learnt.

Fingerprints found on Tennakoon’s vehicle on the day of the assault have been linked to an army officer accused of being involved in the attack.

Co-ordinating Secretary of the Attorney General (AG) State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told The Sunday Morning that investigations had linked the fingerprint of Lalith Rajapaksa, an officer of the Sri Lanka Army, to that which was found on the vehicle.

“The suspect has no explanation as to how his fingerprint got on to the vehicle of Upali Tennakoon,” Jayaratne said.

Accordingly, State Counsel Jayaratne said that AG Dappula De Livera had instructed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest Rajapaksa and produce him before court.

“The AG has instructed the CID to name the suspect, follow the Criminal Procedure Code, and produce him before court. Essentially, the CID has been instructed to arrest Rajapaksa, produce him before court, and record a statement,” Jayaratne said.

The AG had issued the instructions on 27 June 2019, she added.

Tennakoon was assaulted on 23 January 2009 by unknown assailants. Both Tennakoon and his wife were injured during the attack.

Rajapaksa is said to be an officer who was attached to the controversial Tripoli Army Camp in Maradana.
Army intelligence officers attached to the Tripoli Army Camp had also been linked to the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge (2009), the abduction and torture of journalist Keith Noyahr (2008), and the attack on journalist Namal Perera.

By Skandha Gunasekara/The Morning 


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