Sri Lanka's new IGP vows more arrests in Thajudeen case
By Our Police Correspondent
Apr 22, 2016 19:15 PM GMT+0530 | 1 Comment(s)
ECONOMYNEXT, Sri Lanka's new police chief vowed a "systematic investigation" and more arrests in connection with the killing of rugby player Wasim Thajudeen.
Within a few hours of being formally appointed the Inspector-General, Jayasundara ordered the arrest of a police Inspector for allegedly concealing vital evidence in the May 2012 killing.
Sexual jealousy and or control over a key rugger club are said to be at the heart of the case that has exposed police and judicial corruption with senior officers and at least one judicial medical officer implicated in a massive cover up.
A retired doctor and a retired senior police officer are among those earmarked for arrests in connection with the cover up, a top police source said as the new IGP volunteered information to reporters at head quarters on Friday.
"Even before you raise it, I want to tell you that there are no personal attacks, no personal agendas, we are moving systematically and progressively, we will arrests all those involved, who ever they may be," the IGP said.
The former crime OIC of the Narahenpita police, Inspector Sumith Champika Perera, was remanded in custody for two weeks on Thursday on a charge of suppressing vital evidence.
The police had earlier claimed that the former Sri Lankan Rugby captain Wasim Thajudeen burnt to death in a road accident at Park Road.
However, his wallet was found a short distance away and handed over to the nearby Kirulapone police. Suspicion arose after the discovery of the wallet with questions raised why Thajudeen should throw his wallet away a kilometre away from where he was supposed to have gone off the road and crashed into a drain. The car was burnt along with Thajudeen whose charred remains were on the front passenger side.
After President Maithripala Sirisena came to power in January last year, police reopened the case and a magistrate had Thajudeen's body exhumed for a fresh autopsy after the initial forensic report appeared to be a cover up.
The courts have now ruled that Thajudeen did not die in a road accident but in fact had been murdered and that suspects should be arrested.
Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa's legislator son had denied he was involved in the Thajudeen case.
The sudden police action to revive the Thajudeen case, which had been in limbo pending video analysis of CCTV footage, came after the new IGP's assurances of speedy action to revive the pending high profile cases.
Detectives uncovered evidence suggesting that a Land Rover defender registered in the name of Sri Lanka Red Cross had been used in the abduction and killing of Thajudeen.
Later, it transpired that the Red Cross had "gifted" the vehicle to former first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa's Siriliya charity. She had been questioned by the authorities and investigations are still underway. (Colombo/April 23 2016)