Feb 03, Colombo: A former police officer arrested earlier this week in connection with the murder of Sunday Leader editor Lasantha Wickrematunge has revealed significant information about the nine-year old crime, the police sources say.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) arrested former Crimes Office-In-Charge of the Mount Lavinia Police Sub Inspector Tissa Sugathapala on Wednesday for concealing and destroying information pertaining to the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge.
The CID has detained the suspect on a 48 hour detention order for interrogation and CID sources say the suspect has revealed significant information about the murder that has not been revealed so far.
This is the first time such information have been obtained since the killing nine years ago, according to the police.
According to the information provided by the suspect, the CID is taking measures to get advice form the Attorney General on arresting a former IGP, a DIG, a police Superintendent and several other officers on charges of trying to sweep under the carpet all evidence with regard to Lasantha's killing and trying to pin it on the LTTE.
In addition, the CID expects to record a statement from a former high ranking government official who is believed to have been the main advisor in this crime.
It has been revealed that at the time of the assassination the police have found the journalist's diary which contained the license numbers of the motorcycles which followed him before the assassination, mobile phone and several other items. The arrested OIC SI Sugathapala has given the items to an SP who had then given it to the DIG and then to the IG and eventually to the high ranking government official. After the transfer the items including the diary have been disappeared.
According to the CID, the arrested officer has destroyed the information obtained during the Lasantha Wickremetunga murder investigation by the Mount Lavinia Police and all the evidence that would help to prove the crime.
It has been revealed during interrogation that he has done so on the orders received from the top.
Lasantha Wickremetunga was assassinated on January 8, 2009 by four assailants who stopped him on his way to his office on Attidiya-Mt. Lavinia road, in a suburb of Sri Lankan capital.
At the time of the assassination Jayantha Wickramaratne was the IGP. Following his retirement few months later Mahinda Balasuriya became the IGP.
Mahinda Balasuriya has handed over the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge to the Colombo Terrorism Investigation Unit saying it was a work of LTTE.
According to the CID, in both murders of Lasantha Wickrematunge and rugby player Wasim Thajudeen, an intelligence unit with thorough planning has used the police to cover up the information obtained during the police investigations of the cases.
The arrested police officer was produced before the Mount Lavinia Magistrate Court yesterday.