Sri Lanka Appeal court to review Fonseka writ petition

The Appeal Court set until April 25 for the prosecution to file objections. The petition is to be heard on May 3, 4 and 9.

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2011, 00:24 AM IST

Colombo: A Sri Lanka Court of Appeal on Thursday decided to continue the inquiry into the writ application filed by jailed former army commander Sarath
Fonseka against his removal from the Parliament.

The Appeal Court set until April 25 for the prosecution to file objections. The petition is to be heard on May 3, 4 and 9.

The Attorney General has requested the court to dismiss the writ application without inquiry since the Supreme Court had ruled that the Court Martial is a recognised court in Sri Lanka according to country`s Constitution.

The tri-member Court of Appeal comprising judges Ranjith Silva, AW Salam and Upali Abeyratna has unanimously decided to proceed to hear Fonseka`s petition despite the preliminary objection by the Attorney General, the Colombo
Page reported.

In September last year, a court martial found Fonseka guilty of four charges related to alleged irregularities in military procurements during his tenure as Army Chief, and sentenced him to a 30-month rigorous prison term. He was found
also found guilty for doing politics while still a soldier.

The DNA leader lost his parliamentary seat due to the prison sentence.

Sarath Fonseka lost in the presidential election held on January 26 last year to the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Later on April 8 the same year he was elected to Parliament with the highest preferential vote from the Colombo district in the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) ticket.

Fonseka had lost his writ he sought to quash the findings of the court martial when the Supreme Court last month ruled that court martials are legally constituted
courts.

PTI