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Ex-Lanka prez Rajapakse defends son over rugby player's murder

Colombo: Sri Lanka's former president Mahinda Rajapakse yesterday denied his son was involved in the controversial death of a national rugby player as a magistrate ordered a fresh investigation.

Mahinda Rajapakse
Mahinda Rajapakse 

Police said the body of rugby star Wasim Thajudeen will be exhumed today for forensic tests after allegations that authorities covered up the investigation during Rajapakse's regime.

Local media have reported that Thajudeen was killed over a love triangle that involved Rajapakse's second son Yoshitha, although police recorded the death as a road accident.

"I welcome the investigation because that will help us to clear our name," said former president Rajapakse, who is accused of helping to cover up the murder. "But the timing of the investigation suggests that the government is trying to make political capital out of it."

Rajapakse, who is standing for parliament this month after losing the presidency in January, is under investigation over allegations he syphoned off billions of dollars from the state during his nine-year rule.

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