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Ex-navy chief arrives at CID over abduction of 11 youths

Karannagoda sits in between Mahinda and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka's former navy commander, Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda arrived at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) this morning to make a statement over the abduction of 11 youths in 2008 - 2009. 

Karannagoda was last month named as the 14th suspect in the case and had his passport impounded. However, the country's Supreme Court last week issued an interim order preventing his arrest, but ordering him to appear before the CID to provide a statement. 

The eleven youths have been named as Kasthuriarachchi John, Thyagarajah Jegan, Rajiv Naganathan, Soosaipillai Amalan, Soosaipillai Roshan, Kasthuriarachchi Anton, Prageeth Vishvanathan, Thilakeshwaran Ramalingam, Moahmed Dilan, Mohamed Saajid and Ali Anwar. 

The youths are believed to have been held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being murdered.

Last year Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne was remanded in custody following a summons by the CID over his involvement in helping the main suspect, Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias 'Navy Sampath', evade arrest.

President Sirisena appears alongside wanted Admiral. October 2018

Wijegunaratne's own arrest came after weeks of evasion, during which time he made high profile appearances along side senior government figures. 

Prosecutors revealed at the time of his remanding, Wijegunaratne and associates reportedly attempted to abduct a key witness who had previously testified against him. Disruptions took place outside the court as men arriving on motorcycles, thought to be members of Wijegunaratne’s security personnel, proceeded to attack journalists.

Read more here: Sri Lanka’s top military officer held over disappearances of Tamils as journalists attacked outside court

Hettiarachchi was arrested in August 2018 over his involvement in the abduction of the eleven Tamil youth from 2008 to 2009, who were held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being almost certainly murdered.

The former Navy spokesperson and other naval personnel, including three naval officers, have been arrested over the murders so far. 

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