[QODLink]
Central & South Asia
Sri Lanka extends ex-army's chief jail term
Court sentences Sarath Fonseka to three years in prison for implicating defence secretary in war crimes in 2009.
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2011 20:21

A Sri Lankan high court has sentenced the former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, to three years in jail after finding him guilty of making a false allegation against the president's brother.

Fonseka, who ran against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2010 elections, is already serving a 30-month prison term after a court martial convicted him of irregularities in military procurements.

Fonseka was found guilty on Friday of spreading rumours that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the president's brother and Sri Lanka's defence secretary, had ordered the killing of Tamil Tiger leaders as they tried to surrender in May, 2009.

Al Jazeera's Minelle Fernandez reporting from Colombo said: "Fonseka was seen as a hero" after leading his country to victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009.

Fonseka subsequently fell out with the government and says the legal cases against him are politically motivated.

He faces yet another case in which he is accused of harbouring military deserters who he allegedly used as bodyguards during his failed election challenge against Rajapaksa.

He was arrested shortly after the 2010 presidential poll.

He was charged with "spreading disaffection" after he gave a newspaper interview apparently giving credence to allegations that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered war crimes.

Fonseka says he was quoted out of context in the Sunday Leader article published on December 13, 2009.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
Growing poverty is strengthening a trend among UK Muslims to fund charitable work closer to home.
join our mailing list