COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief and defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka was for the first time hauled before a civilian court on Wednesday and accused of inciting violence.
Fonseka, who is in military custody and faces separate court martial charges of dabbling in politics while in uniform, was brought before a magistrate over his reported comments against the president’s brother. Police investigators told the court that Fonseka had alleged in a newspaper interview that the president’s younger brother and defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, had ordered the killing of surrendering Tamil rebels last year.
Fonseka has filed several petitions in higher courts challenging his arrest in February. His lawyers said the latest allegation against the former army commander was politically motivated. The judge adjourned the hearing until May 26.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 13th, 2010.
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