Sri Lanka to investigate crooked judicial medical officers
ECONOMYNEXT – Two judicial medical officers who provided false autopsy reports in high profile murders will face criminal investigations and they will be reported for professional misconduct, the government said today.
Doctor Sunil Kumara who conducted the post-mortem examination on Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunga in January 2009 ruled he had been shot dead, but a fresh autopsy in September showed that he had been stabbed to death.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in a report to court on Monday said that a three-member panel of forensic experts ruled that Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) Kumara’s original autopsy report was false.
The three-member panel comprising Chief Colombo JMO Dr. Ajith Tennakoon, Anuradhapura JMO Dr. M. Sivasubramaniam and Dr. Jean Perera established that Wickrematunga had been killed as a result of an attack with a "high power device" and not shot dead as noted by Dr. Kumara.
The CID had questioned Dr. Kumara, who is now a lecturer at the controversial private university, and was told that he did not have a mobile x-ray unit when carrying out Wickrematunga’s autopsy and hence his wrong conclusion.
"We have now established that indeed there was a mobile x-ray unit at the hospital at the time, and it was in working condition" a police source said.
"Dr. Kumara either deliberately or otherwise misled the entire investigation by saying he had been shot dead and this is why we asked for an exhumation of the body for a second autopsy by a panel of three doctors."
Even the doctors who treated Wickrematunga when he was rushed to the Kalubovila hospital had noted that the victim had not been shot.
"What is most intriguing is that when other doctors insisted that he had not been shot, Dr. Kumara concluded that a bullet had been discharged into Wickrematunga’s brain, but did not provide details of the type of weapon or ammunition used."
Both Dr. Kumara and a former Colombo JMO Ananda Samarasekera who gave another false report into the death of national rugby player Wasim Thajudeen are employed by the controversial South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).
Dr. Samarasekera is also currently locked in a court battle to prevent his arrest in connection with the illegal removal of body parts, including vital evidence in murder cases.
A haul of body parts had been recovered from SAITM and a separate investigation is underway.
Government officials said they wanted both doctors to be struck off the medical list for misconduct, in addition to any criminal proceedings that may be initiated against them (COLOMBO, March 22, 2017)