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Monday, 24 December, 2001, 12:42 GMT
Monk remanded over suitcase body
Scene outside Basingstoke rail station, where the suitcase was discovered
Police sealed off the area where the body was found
A Buddhist monk has appeared in court charged with murder after the discovery of a body in a suitcase outside a railway station.

Thero Nalaka Rathmalane, 35, a Sri Lankan national, appeared before magistrates in Hampshire on Monday.

The body of a man in his late 20s was found at Basingstoke railway station on Thursday evening.

Police said the victim, who has not yet been formally identified, had been working at the Audleys Wood Hotel in Basingstoke, where Mr Rathmalane also lived and worked.

'Severe lacerations'

Thero is a traditional name given to Buddhist monks.

Magistrates in Basingstoke remanded Mr Rathmalane in custody until Friday when he is due to appear before Winchester Crown Court.

A police spokesman said a post mortem showed the man had died of "severe lacerations" to his head

The body was discovered by British Transport Police who were investigating the suitcase as a "suspect package".

The Audleys Wood Hotel, a 71-room Victorian country house, holds murder mystery weekends and has an Agatha Christie suite.


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