War crime case against Sri Lankan President cannot proceed without Australian government’s approval

Oct 25, Perth: The war crime case filed by a Tamil in an Australian court cannot proceed without the Australian government’s consent, the Australian Prime Minister Ms. Julia Gillard has said Tuesday.

According to a report by the Australian news service AAP, the Prime Minister has made it clear no case could proceed without the federal government’s consent.

“No such legal action can be taken on an issue like this without the consent of the attorney-general,” Ms Gillard has told ABC Radio in Perth. She has added that the attorney-general hasn’t received any request in relation to such a case.

A Sri Lankan-born Tamil citizen of Australia has filed a war crimes indictment against Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Melbourne Magistrates Court in a move to coincide with the President’s arrival in Perth on Monday to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) 2011.

A spokesman for Australia’s Attorney General Robert McClelland has said that he has not received any request for consent regarding the case but the Australian Federal Police (AFP) are looking into the allegations.

The spokesman has said that Australia under international law is obliged to extend immunity to visiting heads of state.

The Australian PM however has expressed concern over the war crimes allegations and urged Sri Lanka to address the serious allegations that have been made of human rights violations.

Sri Lanka has consistently denied that its security forces committed war crimes during the bloody war against Tamil Tigers that defeated the terrorist outfit Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in May 2009 ending three decades of terrorism in the country.

(Photos by Sudath Silva)

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