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Updated: March 1, 2012 09:14 IST

U.S. court dismisses case against Rajapaksa

PTI
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In this February 27, 2012 photo, government supporters display placards and portraits of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a street march in Colombo. A U.S. court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against Mr. Rajapaksa.
AP In this February 27, 2012 photo, government supporters display placards and portraits of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during a street march in Colombo. A U.S. court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed against Mr. Rajapaksa.

A U.S. court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, noting he is immune from lawsuits as a sitting head of state.

Dismissing the case on Wednesday, the U.S. District Judge, Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, said that Mr. Rajapaksa has immunity as head of state.

The U.S. State Department had entered a motion asking the case be dismissed because of the immunity precedent.

Mr. Rajapaksa was sued by families of alleged torture victims under the Torture Victim Protection Act passed by Congress in 1992.

“This court is not in a position to second-guess the executive’s determination that in this case, the nation’s foreign policy interests will be best served by granting defendant Rajapaksa head of state immunity while he is in office,” Judge Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

“Two centuries of case law and basic Constitutional and statutory principles prevent this Court from allowing plaintiffs’ complaint to move forward at this time,” the judge said.

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Leaving aside the question of torture, it must be understood the US court has no jurisdction over Sri Lanka or any other counrry and the US law cannot be invoked over a citizen of another country. The complainant can sue Rajapakse in a Sri Lankan court or if there is any such provison, in International Court.

from:  Mohanraj
Posted on: Mar 2, 2012 at 02:44 IST

What about Saddam Hussain? He also was a Head Of State when he got killed. So Oil countries and countries under China's interests seem to be different under law :)

from:  nandakumar
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 14:56 IST

The case against the Sri Lankan president is dismissed on the basis of the U.S. State Department’s contention that the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, by virtue of his being a sitting head of state, is immune from prosecution by a U.S. court.
Has the State Department ever contented similarly in cases involving Nazi criminals? The latter's pleas that they were carrying out orders from above were dismissed by all U. S. courts, saying that such pleas were not permissible when the crimes committed were crimes against humanity. The families of Sri Lankan torture victims may want to explore whether the crime committed by their president fits the definition of crimes against humanity. If yes, they can file the case in any court in any country that recognizes international law in repect of torture. It doesn’t have to seek redress in U.S. court.It is about time the U.S. authorities recognized that torture is torture, whether its victims are Jews or gentiles.

from:  M.P. Prabhakaran
Posted on: Mar 1, 2012 at 10:59 IST
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