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Military officer held over disappearances of Tamils released on bail

A Sri Lankan military officer accused of involvement in the cover up of the disappearance and murder of 11 Tamil youths has been released on bail.

Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne is accused of helping the main suspect accused of conducting the disappearances evade arrest and was held on remand last week.

Journalists were attacked outside last week’s hearing, which Wijegunaratne attended in full military regalia.  As Chief of Defence Staff he is Sri Lanka's highest ranking military officer.

Sri Lanka’s Criminal Investigation Department also reported that the admiral had attempted to shoot and abduct a key witness who had previously testified against him and reportedly tried to get lead investigator Inspector Nishantha Silva removed from the case.

Wijegunaratne’s bail is on two sureties of one million each

Though three arrest warrants had been issued for the admiral last month, he was not arrested at any point. Instead, he continued to make several public appearances, frequently appearing alongside senior government officials.

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