[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
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.