Sri Lanka court frees four co-accused in Fonseka ‘conspiracy’ case

September 25th, 2010 - 12:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Colombo, Sept 25 (ANI): A court in Sri Lanka has released four aides of the former army chief Sarath Fonseka who was convicted of corruption and conspiring to topple the government.

Those released include a senior serving military officer, two retired major generals and a defence columnist, who were among scores of supporters of Fonseka.

According to the BBC, the senior army officer, Brig Duminda Keppetiwalana, released on Friday is also accused of being involved in the assassination of Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickramathunga in January 2009.

Fonseka was charged with conspiring to overthrow the government, after his defeat to President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January’s presidential elections. Dozens of military personnel were also arrested.

While in custody, Fonseka, a former four-star general, was elected to the parliament. Widely seen as the main strategist of the military success over the Tamil Tigers, he had fallen out with the president over who should get credit for the military victory.

Fonseka was dishonourably discharged by a military court, which convicted him of engaging in politics while in uniform.

He also faces a lengthy prison sentence after another recent court martial found him guilty of corrupt arms deals. (ANI)

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