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Last updated: 05 May, 2008 - Published 14:39 GMT
 
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Witness 'threatened' by officials
 
Murdered aid workers bodies exhumed for investigations (photo RG Dharmadasa)
Witness said he saw aid workers in the morning on the fateful day
The aid workers who were murdered in Muttur were alive in the morning on the fateful day, a witness told the Commission of Inquiry (CoI).

A Catholic priest who wished to anonymous told the CoI that he saw the workers in the morning on 04 August, 2006.

The CoI has commenced public hearings over the killing of 17 aid workers of Paris based Action Against Hunger (ACF) in Muttur.

LTTE 'in charge'

The witness was cross questioned by counsel appeared for the interests of Sri Lanka Army, Gomin Dayasiri.

 When the CoI commenced after the tea break the witness started crying. He said two officials started questioning him at the tea break. He told the CoI that he and his family were also threatened before
 
Counsel Priyantha Gamage

Mr. Dayasiri told BBC Sandeshaya that the witness appeared to have admitted that Mutur was under LTTE control at the time of the incident.

The Catholic priest also admitted, Mr. Dayasiri said, that he only saw LTTE members on the way to Trincomalee with those sought refuge in his church.

The witness was threatened by an investigating officer during the tea break; a counsel appeared for the victims said.

Witness 'threatened'

Counsel Priyantha Gamage of Movement for Protecting Civil Rights (MFCR) told journalist KS Udayakumar that the official was identified as Samsudheen.

“When the CoI commenced after the tea break the witness started crying. He said two officials started questioning him at the tea break. He told the CoI that he and his family were also threatened before,” he said.

The commissioners, headed by retired judge Nissanka Udalagama, have promised to investigate the incident and take further steps.

The CoI was appointed by President Rajapaksa to investigate serious incidents rights violations including killing of Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and MP, Joseph Pararajasingham.

The hearing was postponed until Tuesday.

 
 
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