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Central & South Asia
Sri Lanka set to try Fonseka
Ex-army chief who lost presidential poll to stand military trial next week.
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2010 07:54 GMT
Rajapaksa, left, and Fonseka had been allies but fell out after defeating the Tamil Tigers [File: AFP]

Sri Lanka's former military chief is to be court-martialled on seven charges, including engaging in politics while in uniform, a military spokesman says.

Major-General Prasad Samarasinghe said General Sarath Fonseka's trial will begin next week at the naval complex where he is detained, but declined to elaborate on the charges.

Government officials have previously said Fonseka illegally laid the groundwork for his candidature in January's election as he ran for the presidency before resigning from the military.

Fonseka, who was defeated by Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, has also been accused of taking kickbacks in arms deals.

in depth
  Profile: Sarath Fonseka
  Profile: Mahinda Rajapaksa
  Rajapaksa's minority report
  Sri Lanka opposition cries foul
  Video: Sri Lanka votes in Rajapaksa

The general was arrested by the army last month on the orders of Rajapaksa.

The president appointed a three-member tribunal to try Fonseka for participating in politics while in office and violating military procurement procedures.

Rajapaksa and Fonseka had been allies in the successful offensive that ended the country's 25-year civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels, but they split following the end of the conflict last May.

Sri Lankan officials have said "due process" would be followed in dealing with Fonseka, and have argued that "no one is above the law".

Last month Fonseka's wife petitioned the supreme court, calling for the general's arrest to be ruled illegal.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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