Lasantha Murder Trial Takes Another Twist
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
Following a sensational twist in the case currently being heard at the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court on the murder of Founder Editor of The Sunday Leader Lasantha Wickrematunge, Counsel for the aggrieved party, Attorney Shiral Lakthileka requested on Thursday (26) that the Magistrate holds a magisterial inquiry into the statement made by former army intelligence officer Kandegedera Piyawansa.
Lakthileka said that courts had provision to take appropriate action if there is an inducement or threat made by an investigating officer to a suspect that is in violation of the Criminal Procedure Code.
“In such an event, the Magistrate can record a statement from the suspect and hold an inquiry,” Lakthileka told The Sunday Leader.
Former Army intelligence unit member Kandegedara Priyawansa making an statement in open court during a previous hearing of the case on May 12, had said that one OIC Prasanna Alwis of the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) had tried to influence him into making a statement implicating a senior military officer in Wickrematunge’s assassination.
Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando requested on Thursday that the TID submit a report on the investigation along with the relevant TID officer on the next date, June 9.
Counsel appearing for Piyawansa, Attorney Upul Anuradha Wickremaratne had also asked the Magistrate to record a statement from his client.
The Magistrate recorded a statement from Piyawansa at her official chamber which lasted over three hours.
On May 12, Piyawansa had said that he was asked by a TID officer to implicate a senior military officer in Wickrematunge’s killing, with the promise of being made a state witness and overseas employment.
However, TID Sub Inspector A.E. Adhikari rejected the statement made by Piyawansa and informed court on Thursday that the investigation officer concerned would appear in court on the next hearing date on June 9.