COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Sri Lankan court on Thursday gave permission to police to exhume the remains of a newspaper editor killed seven years ago for a fresh investigation.
Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was killed while driving to work in January 2009. He was an investigative journalist who wrote about government corruption and a sharp critic of the then government’s alleged human rights violations during a civil war with the ethnic Tamil rebels.
In a pre-written editorial published posthumously, Wickrematunge had said it will be the government that would kill him.
Privately owned Maharaja Television reported Thursday that police had asked court’s permission to have the remains examined by a new medical team because the two doctors who operated on Wickrematunge and did an autopsy had given contradictory reports.
The officer who carried out the autopsy reported that the death occurred due to gunshot wounds while the surgeon said the wounds were not from bullets, the television reported.
A number of journalists were killed, reported as missing after being abducted by government paramilitaries, or beaten up under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s administration. No one has been convicted.
The new government elected last year has begun fresh investigations into these cases.