[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
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
Treatment for autism in the region has progressed, but lack of awareness and support services remains a challenge.
The past isn't far away for a people exiled from Crimea by Russia and the decades it took to get home.
join our mailing list