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Fonseka sentenced for implicating defence secretary in war crimes

Sarath Fonseka, former Sri Lankan Army General was sentenced for three years by the High Court on Friday on charges of "spreading disaffection", "spreading rumours" and "causing public disorder".

According to the prosecution, Fonseka told the Sunday Leader newspaper on 13th December 2009, that the defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, of ordering the execution of LTTE commanders as they surrendered - a war crime. Fonseka disputes this.

He is currently facing a 30-month sentence for alleged corruption and other charges.

The decision to sentence Fonseka fell on the same day as Rajapaksa's birthday, and two days before the proposed release of the LLRC.

Two out of the three High Court judges ruled against him. Attorney Nalin Ladduwahetty said Fonseka would appeal the sentence.

In a statement, Fonseka said,

“I reject this decision with disgust,”

“I believe that the fair-minded people will correct this mistake one day, otherwise it will remain a black mark in the history of our judiciary.”

Fonseka was the Army General during the final stages of the conflict where over 40,000 Tamils were systematically targetting by the Sri Lankan military and annihilated.

The court's decision to sentence Fonseka fell on the same day as Rajapaksa's birthday, and two days before the proposed release of the LLRC.

He is currently serving a 30-month sentence for alleged corruption and other charges, and faces two more court cases, including one of harbouring army deserters. The next court case starts in January.

Fonseka was the Army General during the final stages of the conflict where over 40,000 Tamils were systematically targetting by the Sri Lankan military and annihilated.

See related articles:

'Fool' Fonseka on trial, Mahinda dismisses pleas for pardon (24 Mar 2010)

General Fonseka and the challenges to Sri Lankan democracy (24 Feb 2010)

Fonseka arrested for plotting against government (24 Feb 2010)