killing: Vital clue found and lost
By Chirs Kamalendran and Hiran Priyankara
The weapon believed to have been used to assassinate Foreign Minister
Lakshman Kadirgamar has been found among a cache of weapons detected
in Chilaw, but crucial fingerprint evidence had been erased allegedly
due to overenthusiastic police officers looking for publicity.
Chief Nimal Lewke told The Sunday Times they had about 90 percent
confirmation that a Chinese-made sub machine gun (7.62 SMG) found
among the weapons and ammunition in Mahawewa off Chilaw was the
same weapon used in the assassination of Mr. Kadirgamar. DIG Lewke
said they had also found other supporting evidence and only had
to wait for the ballistic evidence which would give the full confirmation
about the weapon.
number of live rounds of ammunition found along with the cache of
weapons was also tallying with the numbers fired in the Kadirgamar
killing. The weapon had 90 rounds and 83 were still there.
STF commandant said detectives had previous information that the
assassins had escaped through Udappuwa in Puttalam to Mannar and
the detection of the weapons was a further confirmation of this.
said the grenades found in Mahawewa and those found in the Bullers
Lane residence from where the killers shot Mr. Kadirgamar, were
also similar. The specially tailored clothing to carry arms was
also found in Mahawewa and was similar to the clothing found at
the Buller’s Lane crime scene. He said a telescopic lens found
at Mahawewa was believed to be the one used in the Kadirgamar killing.
Crimes Division Chief Sarath Lugoda said the weapon would be sent
for ballistic tests soon but the police officers who found the weapons
had not taken adequate precautions to protect the fingerprint evidence.
tipoff on the Mahawewa weapons was given by a thambili seller to
Marawila Inspector Hettiarachchi who personally brought the bag
to the station. The Sunday Times learns the Marawila police had
invited the media to show the weapons and in the process they were
not handled properly, thus losing vital fingerprints.
treatment for Gnanakone
Charles Gnanakone, the wealthy businessman being detained under
Emergency Regulations for questioning in connection with the Lakshman
Kadirgamar assassination case has obtained medical treatment.
Gnanakone, said to be a diabetic patient, requires four insulin
injections a day. He was taken in from a house in Dehiwala on Monday
and is being questioned by the Colombo Crime Division. Earlier a
Colombo court impounded his passport.
Kadirgamar was reported to have been given an assurance by Mr. Gnanakone
that he would not be assassinated as long as he was the Foreign
Minister. The assurance had prompted Mr. Kadirgamar to drop his
guard, according to investigators.