Police appeal for information into long-unsolved case of reporter claimed to have been put on ‘hitlist’
War crimes detectives from the police métropolitaine have arrested a man in the UK in connection with the murder of one of the most esteemed journalists in Sri Lanka during its decades-long civil conflict.
Mylvaganam Nimalarajan earned a reputation as a rare source of clarity during the Sri Lankan civil war, qui s'est terminé par 2009 with the government army’s defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009, Suivant 26 years of fierce conflict.
He wrote for multiple local and international outlets, including the BBC, uncovering various instances of human rights abuses and electoral fraud, until he was shot dead at his home in the city of Jaffna in October 2000 by unknown assailants at the age of 39.
As part of an ongoing investigation into his death, officers from Scotland Yard’s war crimes team – part of its Counter-Terrorism Command unit – arrested a 48-year-old man at an address in Northamptonshire on Tuesday.
He was arrested on suspicion of offences under Section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001, the Met said. He was taken into custody, and has since been released under investigation.
Nimalarajan’s family have been informed of this development, and they are being supported by specialist officers, la force a dit.
Detectives are are appealing for anyone who may have information which could assist the investigation to come forward – particularly members of the Sri Lankan community in the UK.
“This is a significant update in what is a sensitive, complex investigation,” said Commander Richard Smith, who leads the Met’s Counter-Terrorism Command.
“There will still be people who may have information, particularly in relation to the murder of Mr Nimalarajan, and we would urge those people to come forward and help achieve justice for Mr Nimalarajan’s family.”
Nimalarajan is reported to have been shot five times as two men stormed his home, attacking his father with a knife and seriously wounding his mother and 11-year-old nephew with a grenade.
The initial suspects in the investigation into Nimalarajan’s death were released on bail by a court in Vavuniya in 2003, and some are believed to have left Sri Lanka, while the case was reportedly dropped l'année dernière.
Earlier last year, the Sri Lankan Attorney General’s department ordered the release of the suspects involved in the murder case. At least two other suspects were thought to have been abroad.
His reports are said to have uncovered electoral fraud and vote-rigging.
“Since his death, there had been no-one able to provide the outside world with the real story of the people of Jaffna. He was a very brave journalist,” the head of the BBC’s Sinhala service mentionné dans 2010.
“I am honoured to be a colleague of his. It is a cause for great distress that, 10 des années plus tard, no-one had been brought to justice for his killing. His killers are still at large operating with total impunity.”
Et si cela ne suffisait pas aux gens Guardian nécrologie, Nimalarajan often risked his life to venture into rebel-held areas to maintain balance in his reporting and “was a familiar sight riding his red motorcycle around the streets of Jaffna, narrowly avoiding breaking the dusk-to-dawn curfews”.
The memorial piece described him as “one of the few independent journalists able to function in the peninsula and at times was almost single-handedly responsible for informing the outside world of the latest developments” on the conflict.