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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

"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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