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* Summary of Evidence being prepared against Sri Lanka's former military chief
Fri, Mar 5, 2010, 01:14 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 05, Colombo: The Sri Lankan Army is in the process of preparing the Summary of Evidence against the former military chief and defeated presidential candidate, General (Retd) Sarath Fonseka and based on the evidence action will be taken against him shortly, the military said.

Military Spokesman Major General Prasad Samarasinghe said the statements from 31 military persons and civilians have been recorded in relation to the investigation regarding the allegations against the retired General.

The Summary of Evidence is now being prepared and it will be handed over to the Army Commander within the next few days, the spokesman said, adding that they are now gathering technical evidence.

The military spokesman said specific charges will be brought in a military court against General Fonseka only after the completion of gathering evidence.

General Fonseka was arrested on February 8 for violations of the Military Act. He has been detained at the Navy Headquarters in Colombo since his arrest. Sri Lanka's Supreme Court rejected a petition filed on his behalf seeking his release.

Former Judge Advocate General of the armed forces, retired brigadier M.J. Samarakoon said a military court can even impose a death penalty if a person is found guilty.

Explaining the legal procedure followed in a military court, Samarakoon said a criminal case can be filed under the country's penal code if a person is sentenced in a military court.

The accused has the right for legal counsel and to file an appeal at the Appellate Court if he disagrees with the verdict of the military court. He can even go further and appeal to the Supreme Court, the former Judge Advocate said.

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