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'Yard cover-up'

LAWYERS handling the affairs of murdered Sri Lankan politician Lalith Athulathmudali have criticised Scotland Yard detectives called in to investigate the killing.

Athulathmudali, leader of the opposition Democratic United National Front party and a former national security minister, was shot while addressing a rally on 23 April. Sri Lankan police blamed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) guerrillas. But Athulathmudali's supporters pointed the finger at his rival, President Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was himself killed by a suspected Tamil suicide bomber a week later. Before his death, he had asked Scotland Yard to investigate Athulathmudali's murder.

The lawyers claim the Yard's investigation failed to analyse evidence and ignored discrepancies: 'This team did not . . . conduct an investigation to ascertain the truth, but rather to confirm a pre-determined conclusion that Athulathmudali was murdered by the LTTE. '