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Lasantha Murder Probe : Driver identifies army officer

During an identification parade, the driver of assassinated journalist Lasantha Wickramatunge has identified the Warrant Officer (WO) who was arrested in connection with the murder.

The identification parade was held in the presence of Mt. Lavinia Magistrate W. Lochana this afternoon (27).

The WO will be produced for another identification parade before an eye witness in the murder, it was reported. 

Police said that the army officer was arrested over the abduction, unlawful detention and questioning of the individual, who was the driver of Wickramatunge’s vehicle prior to the assassination.  

The CID was granted permission to detain and interrogate the suspect for 48 hours after he was produced before court earlier on Saturday. Wickrematunge, founding editor of privately-run newspaper Sunday Leader, was shot dead while he drove to work in January 2009. Wickrematunga was a staunch critic of the administration of then-president Mahinda Rajapaksa, which has insisted it had no role in the editor’s killing.

Sri Lanka’s new government had reopened investigations into the murder after coming to power in January last year.  In February, the police released sketches of two persons who are suspected to be involved in the assassination. The Army Commander had recently appointed two Court of Inquiries to investigate the misplaced documents in the cases pertaining to the murder of Wickramatunge and the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda.