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* Detained ex-military chief of Sri Lanka not to attend his hearing
Fri, Mar 12, 2010, 02:08 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 12, Colombo: The detained former military commander of Sri Lanka, General (Retd.) Sarath Fonseka will not attend his court martial hearing scheduled to be held at the Navy headquarters on March 16, his spokesman, Marxist party parliamentarian Anura Kumara Dissanayake said today.

At a media briefing, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) MP said the legal team of General Fonseka, the leader of the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) will attend the Court Martial hearing against him and challenge the legality of the tribunal before a bench comprising officers junior in rank to General Fonseka.

The tribunal will be before a panel of three major generals while a Rear Admiral of the Navy will serve as the Judge Advocate coordinating the legal proceedings.

Dissanayake said that there is no provision in the Army Act to court martial General (Retd.) Fonseka and such a trial is illegal. Fonseka's legal team including the controversial former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva is working to counter the charges against the General.

Meanwhile the Court of Appeals is to hear a petition filed by General Fonseka's wife Anoma Fonseka seeking to produce the arrested military leader in the open court and release him from detention.

The Appellate Court has directed the Registrar to decide on a suitable date or dates for the petition to be taken up in the open court.

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