Former SLAF chief's guard charged

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 05 May 1998, 23:59 GMT]
Rukmal Herath, a bodyguard of the former Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) commander, Air Marshal Oliver Ranasinghe, was produced before the Gangodawila courts, in a suburb of Colombo, on the charge of attacking Iqbal Athas, a well known Sri Lankan journalist, said legal sources in Colombo.

Mr. Athas and his wife identified the suspect.

Mr.Athas's columns in the local newspapers have been critical of some questionable deals in which the SLAF's former chief was said to be involved.

The allegations of corruption in the purchase of equipment as well as inept handling of the Air Force by Air Marshal Ranasinghe in the war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), have appeared regularly in Mr. Athas' column.

As a result, he is said to have drawn the ire of those supporting the former SLAF commander.

Mr. Athas' detractors have said that his columns strengthened the hand of the LTTE and even exposed military secrets to the enemy.

A group of armed men raided Mr. Athas' house in February this year and threatened him for his writings that were critical of the SLAF.

 

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