Sri Lanka’s police headquarters have launched a ‘special investigation’ into the departure of top organised crime investigator Nishantha Silva from the island following the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Silva, who fled to Switzerland in November 2019, had been credited with pushing through several high-profile cases implicating military and state personnel, including the abduction of 11 youths, with 13 navy personnel arrested in connection with the case and senior navy officials pending investigation. He had also been investigating the death of a Tamil detainee in police custody, as well as the assassination of journalist Lasantha Wickrematunge.
The investigator had reportedly been fearing for his security since the election of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, especially after having his security detail withdrawn after the demotion of his chief Shani Abeysekara in the days following the election result. Last year an assassination plot led by the Sri Lankan navy against Silva was uncovered by the CID.
A senior police official said that some high ranking officials at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and its connected units should take responsibility for Silva’s departure. The inquiry is being carried out by a ‘Special Investigations Unit’.
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