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* Welikada Prison massacre suspect Neomal Rangajeeva threatens journalist, court told
Tue, Jan 8, 2019, 08:18 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 08, Colombo: The main suspect in the killing of Welikada Prison inmates, former Inspector of Police Narcotics Bureau Neomal Rangajeeva has threatened journalist Kasun Pussawela, a witness in the case, a Sri Lankan court was informed today.

The lawyers of the aggrieved party reported the matter to the Colombo Magistrate's Court when the case of killing 27 inmates of the Welikada Prison in 2012 was heard on Tuesday (January 08).

The lawyers informed the court that the witness, Kasun Pussawela was an investigative journalist who has published a number of reports on the massacre.

Lawyer Senaka Perera who appeared for the aggrieved party said that the main suspect in the massacre, former Police Narcotics Bureau inspector Neomal Rangajeeva, who has been released on bail, had published several statements of frightening nature on his Facebook page against the journalist.

"Suspect Neomal Rangajeeva has published a number of threatening statements on his Facebook page with the journalist's photograph. Kasun Pussawela has been introduced as a NGO. The Facebook post has said that the journalist is a person who obtains money from drug traffickers and write," the lawyer told the court.

Attorney-at-Law Senaka Perera informed the court by making such statements, Neomal Rangajeeva, has threatened the witness.

Kasun Pussawela has complained to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) as well as to the Witnesses Assistance and Protection Division of the Police, the lawyer said.

The Colombo Additional Magistrate Isuru Neththikumara ordered the CID to investigate and report to the Court if there had been any complaints lodged at the CID.

Journalist Kasun Pussawela in 2016 has also filed a petition requesting the Human Rights Commission to publish the reports of the commissions appointed by the present government and the previous government to probe the killing of the inmates.

Reporting the progress of the investigations into the killing of the prisoners, the CID informed the court that investigations are continuing further.

The CID also informed Court that the Government Analyst's report on the firearms used in the massacre has not yet been received.

The Magistrate meanwhile ordered to further remand the former Prisons Commissioner Emil Ranjan Lamahewage, who is in remand custody over the killing of inmates, until 22nd of January. The Magistrate ordered the CID to submit a report stating the progress of investigations on the next court date.


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