By Niranjala Ariyawansha
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has concluded the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda and the final report is expected to be referred to the Attorney General (AG) within two weeks seeking indictment of the suspects.
A senior CID source told this reporter that there was adequate evidence to file murder charges against the eight army intelligence officers, who have been remanded on allegations of abducting and killing Ekneligoda.
The source said the CID expected the Attorney General to indict these suspects in the High Court. He added that indictment would be on charges of conspiring and carrying out the abduction, holding in illegal custody and committing the murder of Ekneligoda.
Meanwhile, when Ekneligoda’s case was taken for inquiry last Tuesday, Senior State Counsel Dileepa Peiris appearing on behalf of the Attorney General told Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake that CID investigations had revealed that Sergeant Premananda Udalagama guided the team in Ekeneligoda’s abduction. Recorded telephones conversations received from private telephone operators by Police had revealed this.
SSC Peiris told Court that Ekneligoda had been in fact abducted in August 2009 and January2010.
Sergeant Udalagama, formerly attached to the Army Intelligence Unit, who is now in remand on charges in the murder of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge, was also allegedly tasked with guiding the team in the Ekneligoda abduction too, Counsel Peiris informed Court last Tuesday.
Sergeant Udalagama is also named as a suspect in the attack on former Rivira newspaper Editor Upali Tennakoon in 2009 and has been so identified by Tennakoon.
Counsel Peiris told Court that the prosecution would name Sergeant Udalagama as a suspect in this crime too. Ekneligoda was abducted on the evening of 24 January 2010. The CID officially informed the Magistrate’s Court of Homagama a few months ago that Ekneligoda’s murder has been established with evidence dug up by the CID.