A Tamil living in Norway has been arrested by police on suspicion of killing three people in Sri Lanka. The 34 year-old man is accused of murdering a police officer in 2004 and two members of a rival group in 2006. The killings are thought to have been carried out on behalf of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the civil conflict in the Asian country.
According to Per Zimmer, a lawyer with the Norwegian Criminal Police, the man was contracted by the LTTE. “We are investigating the matter on the basis he has had a role in the LTTE, and that he has carried out killings on its behalf,” Mr Zimmer said in an Aftenposten report. Zimmer, however, refused to reveal the man’s rank, claiming that it is still subject to the police inquiry.
The 34 year-old, who was rejected for asylum, has been working as a cleaner in Norway since 2007. He has been indicted under Section 233 of the country’s Penal Code which states that offenders living in Norway can be tried for murders committed abroad. The trial will be held in Norway as Sri Lankan authorities have not requested the man’s extradition.
“We are obliged to pursue serious crimes committed abroad, thus preventing Norway from becoming a safe haven with amnesty for criminals. There are many Tamils who have been granted residence here, and we find it natural to look at this group as well,” said Zimmer.
The man is to plead not guilty to the charges, claiming he was put under duress by the Tamil Tigers who he says threatened to kill his family if he did not follow orders.