First Court Martial: Fonseka found guilty
August 13, 2010 03:56 pm
Sri Lankan military court has convicted Sarath Fonseka, a former army chief, of meddling in politics, the AFP news agency has reported quoting a senior military source.
“The guilty verdict was read out to General Fonseka at the court martial a short while ago,” the military source told AFP on Friday.
“The president as commander-in-chief must now ratify the decision,” the source said.
The court also rescinded Fonseka’s rank and medals, he said.
Fonseka, 59, had been a close ally of Mahinda Rajapakse, the Sri Lankan president, and was key in the military’s decisive victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009 after more than two decades of civil war.
He, however, fell out with Rajapakse later and unsuccessfully ran against him in the presidential election after quitting the army.
Fonseka was arrested soon after the presidential election that Rajapakse won handsomely.
Although he was in military custody he won a seat in parliament in April.
The three-member tribunal began five months ago.
He is still to be tried before a separate military court to assess whether he took part in corrupt deals, and faces charges in the civilian courts.