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Killers surrender to UK cops after hiding with Tamil Tigers

PUBLISHED: 22:11 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:21 05 October 2010

Killers Anantharaja (left) and Rajeskanna get life

Killers Anantharaja (left) and Rajeskanna get life

TWO killers who fled abroad five years ago after murdering a man in his home in East London have been jailed for life today—after being tracked down in Tamil Tiger’ territory in Sri Lanka. They finally faced the music at the Old Bailey after being traced to a village occupied by the Tamil rebels by Scotland Yard and Sri Lankan authorities

By Mike Brooke

TWO killers who fled abroad five years ago after murdering a man in his home in East London have been jailed for life today—after being tracked down in Tamil Tiger’ territory in Sri Lanka.

They finally faced the music at the Old Bailey after being traced to a village occupied by the Tamil rebels in a joint operation between Scotland Yard and Sri Lankan police.

They were arrested at Heathrow Airport after being flown back to Britain.

Sivajodi Anantharaja, 41, got life with a minimum 24 years, his accomplice Sivapragasam Rajeskanna, 36, got life with 14 years minimum, for murder and attempted murder of a second victim.

MISTAKEN ID

Both were found guilty by a jury yesterday (Tuesday) and were sentenced this-morning for the brutal murder of 26-year-old Sri Lankan refugee Maheswaran Kaneshan in his home at Heigham Road in East Ham on January 12, 2004.

Maheswaran, who had applied for political asylum because of the civil troubles in Sri Lanka, was the victim of mistaken identity caught up in a gang feud.

Six to eight thugs armed with hammers sticks and cricket bats battered him over the head, mistaking him for a member of a rival gang.

The former fisherman was an innocent man working as a cashier in petrol stations in East London and sending money back to his family.

AT LARGE

Anantharaja and Rajeskanna fled to Sri Lanka the day he died in hospital from head wounds.

They remained at large for two years until Rajeskanna was found hiding in a village occupied by Tamil Tigers and arrested on international warrants.

Anantharaja then contacted Scotland Yard to surrender, to escape the troubles in Sri Lanka.

Det Chief Ins Clive Driscoll said: “The authorities in Sri Lanka gave us great help and used their resources to assist the UK, despite their own serious problems.”

The fugitives agreed to be returned to London and were accompanied by three Sri Lankan police officers who handed them over at Heathrow.


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