Former Mt. Lavinia Police Crimes OIC, SI Tissa Sugathapala and retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara arrested by the CID over the killing of veteran journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge have agreed to testify as state witnesses, the CID said.
Kalubowila JMO Dr. Sunil Kumara who issued Lasantha’s autopsy report 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.
According to the CID, the telephone details of former Kalubowila JMO indicates that he was in touch with former senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara, adding that Dr. Sunil Kumara is also a relative of DIG Nanayakkara.
SI Tissa Sugathapala was taken into custody by the CID on February 2 and retired Senior DIG Prasanna Nanayakkara was arrested on February 13.
A CID source told the Daily News that they are currently trying to determine what information contained in the note book kept by Wickrematunge. He said they had obtained court approval to subject this note book to handwriting tests by the Examiner of Questioned Documents (EQD). Several pages of Wickramatunge’s note book had been removed and replaced, the CID said.
The CID said the Examiner of Questioned Documents will be able to determine if the handwriting on the replaced pages tallies with the rest of the handwriting on the note book.
The former DIG is facing charges of aiding and abetting in destroying vital evidence in the investigations into the killing of Wickrematunge. The former Mount Lavinia Crimes OIC had also admitted that he had acted to conceal the evidence of the killing based on the instructions of senior officials of the police.
Many files similar to those that were reported missing in the investigations related to the murder of Wickramatunge and several forged documents had been discovered hidden in the house of the former Crimes OIC, which was found when CI Sugathapala’s house was searched.
Information had also been revealed that Lasantha’s diary which had been found in his car at the time of his assassination, containing all his details, his mobile phone and several other items had been given by SI Sugathapala to an SP who had then given it to the DIG and then to the IG and eventually to the high ranking government official. This information had also come to light during the interrogation of SI Sugathapala.
Lasantha Wickrematunge was killed by two assailants who had followed him on a motorcycle at Attidiya on January 8, 2009. But investigations 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 has been surfacing gradually.