Sunday Leader Editor did not die of gunshot wounds, medical reports confirm
CID claims killers are connected to assaults of two other journalists
Filing a B report on the investigation into the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday told the Mount Lavinia Magistrate that according to a statement given by former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, an army intelligence team under the direct supervision of the former Director of State Intelligence Service Major General Kapila Hendawitharana was responsible for the attack.
According to intelligence sources, the medical team which exhumed Wickrematunge’s body for further investigation had confirmed that he had died of head wounds caused by “inserting a machine-operated object to his head”.
There was severe damaged to brain tissue, the report revealed. It was earlier reported that Wickrematunge died of gunshot wounds although this was disputed due to discrepancies which arose in medical reports given at the time of treatment and the post-mortem carried out by hospital officials.
On 8 September last year the magistrate ordered the exhumation of Wickremetunge’s remains for a fresh post-mortem to be conducted.
The CID investigations team has also identified links to attacks on Keith Noyahr and Upali Tennakoon. The five SIM cards used by Tennakoon’s attackers have also shown activity around Wickrematunge’s residence on 5, 6 and 7 January, the days leading up to his murder on 8 January, causing the team to believe that the same individuals were involved in Wickrematunge’s murder, an investigator revealed. The CID is now working to establish links between the attacks.
It has been also revealed that four of the five phones used by the attackers were bought from a reputed electronics company in the country.
The CID is carrying out further investigations to understand the role played by of one of the main suspects in Tennakoon’s assault, which occurred days after Wickrematunge was murdered. The case’s next hearing was set for 19 June.