Last suspect in Lasantha’s murder goes free

Saturday, 7 September 2013 00:04 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Four years after the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, the last suspect in his murder investigation was freed by courts yesterday, on advice by the Attorney General. The suspect, Kandegedera Priyawansa, who was also an Army soldier, was released due to a lack of evidence. He was released by the Mount Lavinia Magistrate when the case came up yesterday. The other suspect, Pitchai Jesudasan, died in Police custody in 2011. Both suspects were arrested by the TID in December 2009. Priyawansa had formerly told the Court that he had been forced to admit to the murder of the Editor. Wickrematunge is the most senior journalist to be killed in Sri Lanka in recent times and media rights groups both here and abroad have called for credible investigations into his death. The Committee to Protect Journalists says that at least 11 journalists have been killed in Sri Lanka since 2005 and Sri Lanka ranks 162/179 on the world Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters without Borders.