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Eyewitness in Chunnakam police station murder of Tamil man receives death threats

An eyewitness in the case of the 2011 murder of a Tamil youth by Sri Lankan police received death threats prior to testifying at the Kayts Magistrates Court, the court heard.

The witness, a detainee at Welikada prison, received death threats by unidentified individuals while being held at Anuradhapura prison on Wednesday night, en route to the Kayts court.

Five police officers charged with the murder were also being detained at Anuradhapura prison.

Appearing in court on Thursday, the witness complained to the magistrate judge, A. M. M. Riyaal about the threats.

The judge has ordered prison staff to look into the threats and take action.

According to testimonies given at at the Mallakam Magistrates Court in July 2015, Sumanan Sriskandarajah was arrested under false charges and taken to Chunnakam police station on 25 November 2011, where he was tortured and murdered. His body was thrown into the Iranaimadu tank in Kilinochchi, with police claiming he had committed suicide.

8 employees and former employees of the Chunnakam police station were accused of the torture and murder, including the then officer-in-charge Chintaka Bandara. Of those, five have been charged with murder.