Fonseka presented in civilian court for `inciting unrest`

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 21:41

Colombo: Detained former army chief
Sarath Fonseka was on Wednesday presented for the first time before a
civilian court accused of inciting unrest.

Fonseka, who is in military custody and faces separate
court martial charges of dabbling in politics while in uniform
and corrupt procurements, was produced before Colombo`s Chief
Magistrate Champa Janaki Rajaratne over an interview to a Sri
Lankan daily.
According to the daily, Fonseka, before the January 26
presidential elections, had claimed that orders were given by
the president`s younger brother to kill the surrendering
senior LTTE leaders during the final phase of military
operations against the Tamil Tigers.

The ex-army chief had claimed in the report that the
then Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had ordered the
military commanders not to spare any LTTE member surrendering,
the media quoted State Counsel as telling the Chief Magistrate

Fonseka had, subsequently, claimed that the
concerned newspaper `Sunday Leader` had quoted him out of

Wasantha Bandara, the Deputy Solicitor General, told
the court that Gen Fonseka will be indicted under clause 28
and 29 of the Emergency Regulation for creating communal
disharmony, media reports said.

The state counsel told the court that Fonseka had made
defamatory statements regarding the government, both locally
and internationally, and had also attempted to create communal
disharmony through his statements.

He said that they will be filing an indictment over
the charges.
Rajaratna observed that if bail is not granted, the
normal practise would be to hand over the suspect to the
remand prison. However, as Gen Fonseka is a LTTE target, he
will be under the custody of the military police, the
magistrate said.

Both parties later requested the court to remand the
General with the army instead of the prison as his life is in

The chief magistrate ordered the army to provide
protection to Fonseka, who won a parliamentary seat in April
elections, after placing him under their custody. The judge
adjourned the hearing until May 26.

The lawyer appearing for Fonseka, however, said they
will respond once the indictment is filed, the Daily Mirror
online reported.

Fonseka`s lawyers said the latest allegation against
the former army commander was politically motivated.


First Published: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 21:41
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