UK: Karuna released, remains under immigration detention powers

[TamilNet, Friday, 09 May 2008, 13:08 GMT]
Vinayagmoorthy Muralitharan, alias Karuna, a former Tiger commander who turned leader of a paramilitary group operated by the Sri Lanka Army in the East, was released by the British authorities on Thursday following his imprisonment for possessing false documents. "He now remains under immigration detention powers," said British High Commission in Colombo, in a press release issued on Friday.

Mr. Muralitharan was sentenced to nine months in prison for entering Britain on a Sri Lankan passport under a different name in January. Pleading guilty, Karuna had implicated the government of Sri Lanka and the defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa of providing the travel documents including the diplomatic passport for him to enter the United Kingdom.

Following is the full text of the press release issued by the British High Commission in Colombo:


Vinayagmoorthy Muralitharan (aka Karuna Amman)

A British High Commission spokesperson said:

“Vinayagmoorthy Muralitharan (aka Karuna Amman) was released yesterday following his imprisonment for possessing false documents, contrary to Section 25 of the Control of Identification Documents (Offences) Act 2005. He now remains under immigration detention powers.

We have made clear our concerns at the circumstances by which Karuna travelled to the UK.

We are deeply concerned that Karuna and his faction have allegedly been responsible for murder and abductions and are still believed to be involved in intimidation and child recruitment. The Crown Prosecution Service has advised the Metropolitan Police Service that there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction for any criminal offences in the UK.”

British High Commission


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