Sarath Fonseka produced in Court: Defence Secretary did not order shooting LTTE surrendees – DSG

Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Bandara yesterday questioned the claims of retired General Fonseka to be a war hero when he had actually accused the Government of violating international laws applied to battle.

He said this when retired General Sarath Fonseka was produced before Colombo Chief Magistrate Janaki Rajaratne. He said although the suspect was the Chief Commanding Officer in the victorious war he subsequently made statements inimical to the State for political expediency and lost his honour.

He was making submissions in connection with the CID investigation into a statement made by the retired General Sarath Fonseka to a Sunday newspaper that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa ordered the shooting of LTTErs who came to surrender with white flags.

According to the CID investigations the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had not given any such instructions or orders to shoot surrendering LTTErs, the DSG said.

Deputy Solicitor General Bandara in his lengthy submissions emphasised that General Sarath Fonseka had made a false statement to the media about the Defence Secretary. The Officials of the UNO also had inquired about this statement from the Sri Lanka Ambassador.

CID investigations had revealed that General Fonseka had made that false statement to an English weekend newspaper. He will be charged under the Criminal Procedure Code and under the Emergency Regulations Sections 28 and 29, the DSG said.

Colombo Chief Magistrate and Additional District Judge Champa Janaki Rajaratna directed the Brigadier who produced General Sarath Fonseka in Court yesterday to produce the General in Court again on May 26.

Judge Rajaratna observed that normally when a suspect is produced before Court, the Court remands him to Fiscal Custody, in this instance General Fonseka is a person who won the war. If the Court remands him to the Fiscal custody, there are several LTTE suspects in the remand prison who had not been indicted before Court up to date. Therefore the Court will not remand General Fonseka to the Fiscal custody but will hand him over to the Army.

The Judge directed the Brigadier to sign the record after taking General Fonseka to his custody.

Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Navaratna Bandara who appeared for the Attorney General said there is an investigation into a statement made by General Sarath Fonseka to a weekend English newspaper that Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa had given instructions or orders to Brig. Shavendra Silva to fire at the LTTE suspects who surrendered to the forces with white flags.

Earlier the CID moved Court to grant permission to make General Sarath Fonseka a suspect in the case as he had made a false statement to the newspaper.

The Judge directed the CID to submit a comprehensive report about their ongoing investigations against General Sarath Fonseka before Court grant permission to make him a suspect.

According to the investigations carried out by the CID the LTTE suspects who surrendered to the Armed Forces had been rehabilitated.

The CID also had recorded two statements from a journalist who had recorded General Sarath Fonseka’s statement and the proprietor of the Newspaper organisation. These two statements had been forwarded to the Courts, the CID said.

Senior Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetti said the suspect had been detained without any charges and moved Court to grant bail for his client.

Ladduwahetti totally denied that his client had made any statement to any newspapers that the Defence Secretary gave him instructions to fire at LTTE surrendees with white flags.

In this respect the journalist also had been made a suspect in this case, the Senior Defence Counsel said.

The case will be called again on May 26.

Daily News – Ranjith PADMASIRI