For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
By Sunil Weerasuriya
Suspect B Prageeth Perera, remanded for the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga, told court on Friday (29) that he stole the phone of the victim from the murder scene. Mt Lavinia Chief Magistrate Nirosha Fernando then postponed the verdict until the next hearing on November 12, while discharging him of the murder charges.
He was released taking into consideration the report submitted by the CID. According to which the suspect was not involved in the murder according to the findings of their investigations.
Four armed men are alleged to have carried out the assassination in front of the Malagalage Junior School Attidiya on January 8, 2009.
The suspect had stolen the phone belonging to Wickramatunga soon after the killing and sold it to a trishaw driver for Rs.6,000. The Mirihana police had taken the suspect into custody along with the trishaw driver.
The driver was later released while the suspect was remanded.
After the suspect admitting to the theft, the magistrate ordered the police to have him finger printed and a report submitted on November 12, the next hearing date when he will be sentenced. (DP)