Colombo: Sri Lanka`s former Army chief was charged Monday in a civilian court with conspiring against the state with the support of 10 military officers, a court official said.
It is the first time charges have been filed in a civilian court against General Sarath Fonseka, who became an opposition presidential candidate after leading the military campaign that last year ended Sri Lanka`s 26-year civil war against Tamil separatist rebels.
Fonseka is already facing a court martial on the same charges, but there has been a strong international campaign that he should be tried in a civilian court. The decision to try him in a military court has been challenged by his lawyers.
The action was filed Monday in Colombo and was taken up before Chief Magistrate Rashmi Singappuli.
The Criminal Investigations Department was directed to inform the courts about the progress of the investigation into Fonseka on July 26.
Fonseka, if found guilty, could be sentenced to a 20-year jail term.
He was arrested on February 8, two weeks after his failed presidential bid.
He ran after a fallout with President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Although he lost that January election, he contested April Parliamentary Elections and was elected.
Fonseka remains in military custody and is taken to Parliament by the armed forces.