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 Post subject: Sri Lankan ‘political killing’ in Doha trial to start
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 12:25 am 
Sri Lankans set to go on trial for ‘political killing’ in Doha

© Gulf Times Newspaper / 2006Sunday, 16 July, 2006
By Staff Reporter

THE trial of five Sri Lankan men accused of killing a compatriot in Doha last February will start on July 26, legal sources said.

Police believe the murder of Sri Lankan Tamil Manokaran was a case of "political assassination" as he was a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and later probably a member of a rebel faction.

A sixth "unknown" suspect was involved in the killing but his identity could not be established, police sources said.

Manokaran was a native of Eravoor, near Batticolova in Sri Lanka’s eastern province.

The main suspect in the case is believed to have come to Qatar on January 4 to "organise" the murder but left a few days later. Legal sources said Qatar would ask Colombo to extradite him.

According to sources, Manokaran, 25, succumbed to his wounds seven days after he was attacked at his labour camp on Street 49 in the Industrial Area.

The charge-sheet said the main suspect supplied his accomplices with iron bars and face masks to carry out the crime. The fifth suspect, who lived in the next room, supplied the group with information about the victim’s movements while the third stood guard outside his room.

"The first, second and fourth accused sneaked into Manokaran’s room and repeatedly hit him on his head with an iron rod," the charge-sheet said.

A police officer, who will appear in the court as a witness, said the suspects failed to kill Manokaran outside his accommodation, so they decided to murder him inside his room.

"On the day of the incident, the unidentified suspect was monitoring the stairs to ensure that no one was around, while another one stood in the corridor.

"The others went inside the victim’s room and hit him many times on his head while he was sleeping," the officer told the prosecution.

"Though two of his roommates woke up after the victim started to scream, they were forced to remain silent as the attacking group threatened them," the witness said.

"The attackers stopped the assault only after they felt that the victim was dead," he said.

"In the car of the fourth suspect, we found iron bars, two gloves and two face masks. The police dog which sniffed the bars led the investigating officials to the second suspect."

A Sri Lankan roommate of Manokaran, who was summoned as a witness, said. "I saw three men, two of them near the victim’s bed and the third standing near me in our room. I saw a man hitting the victim on his head with an iron bar, about 60cm long.

"They threatened to kill me if I opened my mouth. They told me that they belonged to the Tamil Tigers and I knew they would not hesitate to kill their detractors."

"When they left the room, the victim was alive."

The witness said that because it was dark in the room, he could not see the attackers well. "One of them was focusing the beam of a torch on my face to prevent me from seeing them."

Another roommate of the victim corroborated his statement, the police said. The medical report said Manokaran sustained bleeding in the brain and fractures as a result of the attack.

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