Sarath Fonseka appears before court martial
Last Updated: Monday, April 19, 2010, 18:00
Colombo: Sri Lanka's former Army Chief Gen Sarath Fonseka on Monday appeared before a court martial for the first time after he was elected to Parliament and challenged the jurisdiction of the court contending that he cannot be tried under the Army act.

Fonseka appeared before the second Court Martial that is hearing charges against him regarding military procurements under the section on Monday.

His counsel contended that Fonseka could not be covered under the Army Act and even if he is being done so, a court martial could not be conducted against the former army chief.

"The counsel for defence made his submissions with regard to the objections raised by them in respect of the jurisdiction of the Court," the army said in a statement.

The court martial, which is being conducted behind closed doors at the tightly-guarded naval headquarters, was adjourned and the prosecution will make oral submissions when the case is taken up again tomorrow, it said.

Fonseka had led the military to a resounding victory over the Tamil Tiger rebels but later fell out with President Mahinda Rajapakse and unsuccessfully contested the Presidential elections.

Sunil Wattagala, one of the lawyers appeared for Fonseka, told PTI that the detained army chief has been asked to be present on the first day of the new Parliament session on April 22.

"The Secretary General of Parliament (Dammika Kithulagala) has asked Gen Sarath Fonseka to be present in Parliament on April 22 at around 8.30 am," he said.

The Fonseka-headed Democratic National Alliance, which has won five seats out of the 180 declared so far in the 225-member parliament, has alleged that the government is trying to prevent him from attending the opening session.


First Published: Monday, April 19, 2010, 18:00

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