CBI to grill LTTE chief

Kumaran Padmanathan

The MDMA, which has been granted another extension by the government, has begun the work of preparing questions that will be sent to Sri Lanka where Pathmanathan alias KP is being questioned by the Lankan security, official sources said.

Pathmanathan, the alleged financier and a key accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, was arrested in a Southeast Asian country and brought to Sri Lanka. He has been declared one of the most-wanted terrorists by Interpol. He is suspected to be a key person in LTTE’s global network for procuring weapons and other equipment. Jane’s Defence Intelligence Review, a premier London-based defence magazine, had reported that the LTTE had two international wings—KP department and Aiyanna group—that were engaged in global terrorist activities.

The CBI had been on KP’s trail for over a decade and its team had travelled to New Zealand in 2002. The agency questioned three Tamil nationals there after securing permission from the authorities in that country. The MDMA term , which is headed by a CBI official and comprising officers from the IB, RAW and Revenue Intelligence, ended on May 31 and was given a post-facto approval.

The Jain Commission, which went into Gandhi’s killing, had come across various leads which included bank transactions of LTTE’s frontal outfits before and after the assassination and on movement of arms meant for the LTTE during that period. The MDMA has also been focusing on bank details of Pathmanathan. India has taken up the matter with Germany to get the bank details of KP, who is alleged to be a major gun-runner for the terrorist group.

The investigators want to know the bank details of KP and some more people, including some Indians who were alleged to have hatched the conspiracy to kill Gandhi. The former prime minister was assassinated on May 21, 1991, when an LTTE suicide bomber blew herself up at an election rally in Tamil Nadu. KP is believed to be “the chief arms procurer” for the LTTE and also in charge of collection of finances for the banned outfit outside Sri Lanka.

The CBI had approached nearly 23 countries with letters rogatory for Pathmanathan along with its findings against the terrorist leader.

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