The long-delayed arrest of the head of the military intelligence directorate has led to a breakthrough in solving the Keith Noyahr abduction case which is directly linked to several other attacks, police said Friday.
Retired major general Amal Karunasekera was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as he was undergoing treatment at the army hospital, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera said.
Gunasekera said Karunasekera, who was the director of the military intelligence was taken in in connection with the May 22, 2008 abduction and assault of Noyahr who at the time was an editor of the Nation newspaper.
However, official sources said the former head of the DMI was under investigation for the Noyahr abduction as well as several other connected cases, including the assassination of Sunday Leader founding editor Lasantha Wickrematunga.
“This arrest marks an important breakthrough in the case,” an official source sadi.
Soon after the ending of the war against the LTTE in May 2009, the then government had wanted to send Amal Karunasekera as Charge d’ affaires for the proposed Sri Lankan Mission in Eritrea. Later he was given another diplomatic posting.
Investigators have found that the members of the DMI were directly involved in high profile killings and abductions during the former regime and many of them are currently on bail.
Evidence gathered so far showed that police as well as judicial medical officers had colluded to cover up almost all the cases. Several senior police officers are currently facing prosecution for their roles in destroying evidence or subverting investigations.
The then defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has denied involvement in the killings and also maintained he had no command responsibility over the intelligence units and has shifted the blame to his army chief Sarath Fonseka.
For his part, Fonseka has said the intelligence units that operated outside the northern and eastern war zones were not under his command.