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German court convicts Tamil man over assassination of Kadirgamar

A court in Germany has convicted a Tamil man of being involved in the 2005 assassination of Sri Lanka's foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, despite claims that his words had been mistranslated during his asylum interview.

The man, identified only as Navanithan G, has been in Germany since 2012 but only arrested over the assassination last year. Authorities claim that during his asylum interview, he admitted to being a member of the LTTE intelligence unit and to providing information on Kadirgamar’s whereabouts to the LTTE. Navanithan, however, told the court that his words were mistranslated. 

He has been sentenced to six years and ten months imprisonment, but the sentence is subject to appeal. 

Lakshman Kadirgamar was Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1994 to 2001 and from 2001 until his death, during which time he was instrumental in pushing for the proscription of the LTTE by states worldwide. He was shot dead by a sniper in August 2005, as he climbed out of a swimming pool in his Colombo property. 

The LTTE consistently denied it was responsible for the killing. 

See more from the AP here.

Last year, a Tamil man was acquitted by a German court on charges of war crimes related to his alleged involvement with the LTTE. He too had initially been indicted by German authorities in 2019.

 

“When do German prosecutors finally focus on Sri Lanka army, security forces et al. for systematic torture, disappearance, sexualized violence, killings etc?” said Andreas Schüller a program director for the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

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