Court asks Fonseka to appear in arms deal case

A Colombo court Wednesday ordered lawmaker Sarath Fonseka to appear before it next week in connection with an arms deal awarded during his term as the Army chief to a company headed by his son-in-law.

Last Updated: Jun 16, 2010, 16:53 PM IST

Colombo: A Colombo court Wednesday ordered
lawmaker Sarath Fonseka to appear before it next week in
connection with an arms deal awarded during his term as the
Army chief to a company headed by his son-in-law.

In February this year, a Colombo Magistrate had issued
an arrest warrant for Tilakaratne over the multi-million
dollar Hicorp deal, a defence contract which was awarded when
Gen Fonseka was the army chief.

Fonseka`s son-in law Danuna Tilakaratne, who is
reportedly absconding, was the President of Hicorp
International INC when the deal took place during the last
phase of the Eelam IV war last year.

The Colombo Fort magistrate today ordered that the
detained former Army chief be produced before it on June 23 in
connection with the Hi-corp deal.

Meanwhile, Fonseka`s proposed tour to Nairobi in
September to attend the Commonwealth Parliamentary Union (CPU)
conference has come under a cloud.

Defence spokesman and Mass Media Minister Keheliya
Rambukwella told reporters yesterday that Fonseka would have
to obtain a court permission to be released to attend the CPU
meet.

It is up to Fonseka to obtain court permission as he
is under detention over several charges, the minister said.

As a member of the Parliament, Fonseka had received
parliamentary approval to join a delegation of lawmakers for a
meeting of the CPU in Kenya.

Rambukwella said Fonseka receiving parliamentary
approval was not an issue, but there were other issues beyond
that.

The name of Fonseka, who heads the Democratic National
Alliance (DNA) has been cleared by a Parliamentary committee
to represent the opposition along with the UNP MP Earl
Gunasekara.

This would have been the first foreign visit of
Fonseka since he was elected an MP from Colombo district in
the April 8 parliamentary polls.

Fonseka, who is being held at the naval headquarters
here since his arrest in February, is facing two courts
martial.

The courts martial are in connection to his dabbling
in politics while in uniform and contravention of norms in
military procurement.

PTI