British LTTE leader met Special Branch officers

April 18th, 2009 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 18 (IANS) A Sri Lankan-origin activist who has become the first person in Britain to be convicted for aiding the Tamil Tigers was buying bomb-making equipment while holding regular meetings with security agencies, according to evidence given in a British court.
Arunachalam Chrishanthakumar, known as A.C. Shanthan, was convicted Friday of conspiracy to receive property to be used for the purposes of terrorism and possessing military manuals for terrorist purposes.

But at the close of a nine-week trial, the jury failed to reach a verdict on three terror-related charges against Shanthan and his alleged associates Jagatheeswaran Muraleetharan, Jeyatheswaran Vythyatharan and Murugesu Jegatheeswaran.

During the trial, the court in Kingston heard that Shanthan not only procured bomb-making equipment for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) but also maintained contacts with Special Branch officers.

LTTE representatives had frequent meetings with foreign ministry officials while Shanthan regularly met Special Branch officers. He was contacted by MI5 spies as part of efforts to monitor the 300,000 Tamils living in Britain, the court was told.

Although Shanthan told the court that the British Tamil Association, of which he was head, was not connected to the LTTE, prosecution lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw said he was effectively the head of the LTTE in London.

“He was coordinator of the procurement exercise. He was in contact with senior LTTE figures in Sri Lanka, receiving orders and requests, and on occasions buying equipment himself,” Laidlaw said.

The prosecution service will decide next week whether to seek a retrial on the outstanding charges.

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