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Tamil man linked to LTTE acquitted of war crimes by German court

A Tamil man has been acquitted by a German court of charges of war crimes related to his alleged involvement with the LTTE.

The 37-year-old defendant known as Sivatheeban B was acquitted by the Higher State Court of Düsseldorf on November 8, 2019.

During the course of the hearings which started on August 26, it became clear that the accusations would not be proven, the court said in a statement. In fact the arrest warrant against him was waived in October and he was released from pre-trial detention.

The German federal prosecutor’s office had accused Sivatheeban of having been a member of the LTTE and of participating in alleged war crimes - executing 15 Sri Lankan soldiers in 2008 and shooting at soldiers near Mullivaikkal in March 2009.

“When do German prosecutors finally focus on Sri Lanka army, security forces et al. for systematic torture, disappearance, sexualized violence, killings etc?” said Andreas Schüller a program director for the Berlin-based European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).