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Updated: December 16, 2011 17:59 IST

Fonseka loses appeal against jail term

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Sri Lanka’s former Army chief General Sarath Fonseka
AP Sri Lanka’s former Army chief General Sarath Fonseka

A Sri Lankan Appeal Court on Friday rejected former Army chief Sarath Fonseka’s plea against his 30-month jail term.

The Appeal Court in a unanimous decision upheld the verdict of the court martial which sentenced Mr. Fonseka in September of 2010.

The military court martial found Mr. Fonseka guilty of following wrong procedure in procurements when he headed the Army between 2005 and 2009.

Mr. Fonseka was also sentenced to a three year prison term by the High Court last month for newspaper comments that surrendering LTTE rebels had been killed on the orders of the Defence Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa.

Mr. Fonseka, 60, credited for ending the 30 year armed campaign by the LTTE ran for the island’s presidency against the incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 2010 election.

He was arrested almost immediately thereafter and spent eight months under military detention before the military court martial sentenced him over procurement procedure.

He claimed political witch hunt as the reason for prosecution. While under detention he contested the parliamentary election and was elected a member of Parliament.

He has now lost his seat due to imprisonment.

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