Friday, May 18, 2012

SF granted bail in one case

The Colombo High Court today granted conditional bail to Sarath Fonseka in the case over harboring of army deserters during the presidential election.

When the petition filed by the former army chief was taken up before High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa today (18), appearing on behalf of Fonseka attorney Saliya Peiris declared that all the charges against the defendant have been filed under the penal code and therefore there is no obstacle in grant him bail.

He also pointed out that President Rajapaksa has already decided to release Sarath Fonseka and that Cabinet approval had been obtained for this yesterday.

Therefore continuing to detain Fonseka in remand custody over these charges is baseless, the attorney said.

The State Attorney informed court that the government does not object to the bail appeal by the former Army Commander, who was then ordered released under a cash bail of Rs. 1 million and two personal bails of Rs. 2.5 million each.

The Colombo High Court also barred Sarath Fonseka from leaving the country however stating that he would be required to seek permission from the court in order to leave the country.

The Attorney General had filed charge sheet comprising of 41 indictments against the former army commander and Senaka de Silva, who is charged along with Fonseka for allegedly employing army deserters during the last presidential election and conspiring against the government.

They have pleaded not guilty.

Captain Senaka de Silva, who acted as Sarath Fonseka’s private secretary, was ordered released by the Court of Appeals on March 28, 2011 on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 and was also barred from leaving the country.

Fonseka, soon after leading the Army to victory against the LTTE in May 2009, ran for the office of President in 2010, against his one time Commander-in-Chief Mahinda Rajapaksa however was defeated in the polls.

He was arrested in February and subsequently convicted by both military and civil courts and stripped of his military ranks in August 2010.

However, Sarath Fonseka will not be set free yet as he is still serving the sentence of the case regarding the ‘White Flag’ statement made by him.

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