Sri Lanka’s former Army Commander pleads not guilty for harboring deserters

Jan 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s Former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka today pleaded not guilty to all charges against him when he was produced before the Colombo High Court.

The government has charged Fonseka and his personal assistant Senaka Haripriya de Silva mainly for harboring army deserters during his presidential election campaign, conspiring against the government to commit mutiny and insubordination to the government.

The state has served an indictment against the two accusing them of 41 charges. Both Fonseka and de Silva have pleaded not guilty to all charges when they were read the charges in the court.

The Colombo High Court Judge Sunil Rajapaksa has decided to hold daily hearings on the case starting from February 21.

Fonseka is currently serving a three-year prison sentence imposed by the Colombo High Court having found him guilty of inciting violence in the famous ‘white flag’ case.

The former Army Commander is also serving a 30-month prison term imposed by a court martial in 2010 after finding him guilty of four charges related to alleged irregularities in military procurements during his tenure as Army Chief.

Another court martial earlier delivered an order sentencing the former General for a dishonorable discharge from rank for engaging in politics while being in active service. The retired military chief was stripped of his ranks and medals he earned during his 40-year carrier.

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