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Dias faces arrest if he returns

Major General Jagath Dias, Sri Lanka’s Deputy Ambassador to Germany and Switzerland, will face a criminal investigation if he were to return to Swiss territory due to his “personal involvement” in alleged war crimes.

The statement comes from the Swiss Federal Attorney General following a criminal complaint filed by TRIAL (Swiss association against impunity) and the Society for threatened peoples (SPM) against Dias.

The Attorney General said that whilst leading the 57th Division, there were several instances that “highlight Mr Dias' personal involvement in the military operations undertaken and in the atrocities committed”.

Philip Grant, the director of TRIAL, said,

“Sri Lanka still denies the extent of the crimes committed. As long as no impartial investigation is carried out in Sri Lanka, the authors of these crimes may be punished abroad”.

Angela Mattli, head of campaigns at the SPM, also commented on the issue saying,

“After this judicial decision, the time has now come for the politics to send a clear message to the Sri Lankan government: impunity for war crimes is not an option any more”.

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), who released a 23-page report on Jagath Dias in May, also stated that preliminary investigations of international law violations during the war in Sri Lanka have begun in Germany.

Last week, Sri Lanka denied that they had recalled Dias due to pressure from war crimes allegations and instead stated that it was due to him finishing his two-year term.

See our earlier post: "Dias 'recalled'?" (Sep 2011)

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