For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
A former army intelligence officer Friday filed a Fundamental Rights application citing Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa as a respondent for ordering his detention in connection with the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge – Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader.
Wickrematunge was brutally assassinated on January 8, last year as he drove himself to work.
Kandegedara Priyawansa of Karuwana, Nuwara Eliya in his petition has charged that his arrest and detention on the orders of the Defence Secretary was unreasonable and violated his fundamental rights. Priyawansa (33) has said he was arrested and detained for five months on false charges of assassinating Lasantha Wickrematunge and attacking Rivira Editor Upali Tennakoon. Priyawansa says he was arrested on February 27 this year by Bogamuwa OIC and questioned at length on whether he had connections with former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka and one Pichchei Jesudasan, suspected to have been involved in the killing of Wickrematunge.
Priyawansa has asked the Supreme Court to release him with cost since he maintains there was no evidence or charges framed against him. The other respondents in the case including Gotabaya Rajapaksa are the Officer-in-Charge of the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID), OIC Welikada Remand, Bogamuwa OIC and the Inspector General of Police.