Sri Lankan investigators have exhumed the remains of a newspaper editor killed seven years ago to conduct a fresh investigation.

Lasantha Wickrematunge, editor of the Sunday Leader newspaper, was killed while driving to work in January 2009. He was an investigative journalist who wrote about government corruption and a sharp critic of the then-government's alleged human rights violations during a civil war with the ethnic Tamil rebels.

Athula S Ranagala, a lawyer representing his family's interests, said Wickrematunge's remains were exhumed Tuesday under a court order after police investigators sought permission for the exhumation due to contradictory medical and post-mortem reports.

Sri Lanka's new government has promised fresh investigations into killing and attacks on journalists.