Colombo, Apr 6 (PTI) A former Sri Lankan military intelligence chief has been arrested and remanded in custody over the assault and abduction of a leading journalist nearly 10 years ago, police said today.

Major General (retired) Amal Karunasekera was arrested yesterday for the abduction of Keith Noyahr, the then deputy editor of The Nation, an English weekly, they said.

Noyahr was abducted by an armed group on May 22, 2008 when he was returning home. He was released the next morning with severe bruises due to assault.

Noyahr wrote a weekly defence column and it was said that the military was unhappy about his writings. Karunasekera headed the military intelligence at the time.

Noyahr’s abduction alongside the murder of the editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga, were incidents of media harassment during the regime of the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Sri Lanka was dubbed one of the dangerous places in the world for journalism during the 10-year-rule of Rajapaksa.

Noyahr’s case was re-opened by his successor Maithripala Sirisena’s government after Rajapaksa’s defeat in 2015. Noyahr now lives in Australia.

Several military men who were previously arrested are currently on bail in the same case.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.