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Sri Lankan officer wanted over abduction and murder of Tamils is released on bail

File photograph

A former Sri Lankan intelligence officer, who had previously evaded arrest over the abduction and disappearance of 11 youths and the assassination of an MP, has been released on bail this week.

Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias 'Navy Sampath' was in remand custody  over  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. He was also wanted in connection with the 2006 murder of Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj.

Though Hettiarachchi has skipped bail and evaded arrest after he was initially held in 2018, Colombo Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake decided to grant bail once more on December 31.

The case is due to be presented to a Sri Lankan court once more on February 5.

The release of the main suspect in the abduction case comes after the election Sri Lanka’s new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in November 2019. Rajapaksa has repeatedly spoken out against prosecutions of Sri Lanka soldiers and vowed to release those who have been jailed for human rights violations.

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