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Witness in Tamil abduction case threatened by Sri Lankan Admiral's supporters

The key witness in the case of the abduction and killing of 11 Tamil youths between 2008 to 2009 has been threatened by supporters of Sri Lanka's Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne, LankaDeepa reports. 

The details of the incident remain unknown however reports within Colombo press varying from severely assault to a possible shooting. 

Sri Lanka's former finance minister tweeted that the witness had been "severely assaulted in front of CDS who is also a key suspect." 

Whilst Colombo Telegraph reports that Admiral Wijegunaratne attempted to shoot the witness inside Sri Lankan navy headquarters. 

The incident comes after the CID yesterday summoned Wijegunaratne to attend for questionning on November 27 for allegedly helping the main suspect in the case evade arrest. 

On August 16 Sri Lanka's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) told Colombo Fort chief magistrate, Lanka Jayaratne it had evidence that Wijegunaratne provided the former navy commander, Lieutenant Commander Chandana Prasad Hettiarachchi alias 'Navy Sampath' with Rs. 500,000 in order for him to skip bail and escape arrest.

“There is evidence against Admiral Wijegunaratne’s role in allowing the accused to evade arrest,” the CID was quoted by AFP as saying to the magistrate, who responded by immediately instructing the Bank of Ceylon to release records of the the navy's accounts from March to May 2017. 

Lieutenant Commander Hettiarachchi was arrested this month over his involvement in the abduction of eleven Tamil youth from 2008 to 2009, who were held in navy bases at Trincomalee and Colombo before being murdered.

Wijegunaratne was in 2016 filmed assaulting a journalist covering a story on Hambantota port. Despite this Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena extended his service and promoted him to Chief of Defence Staff.





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