Mar 25, Colombo: A Canadian Tamil Tiger operative extradited to the United States to face charges of supporting the banned terrorist organization, Sri Lanka's Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has been sentenced to two years in prison by a federal court in Brooklyn, New York, the National Post reported.
Piratheepan Nadarajah, 37, from Brampton, Ontario has pleaded guilty in October 2013 at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn in New York after admitting to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support including sophisticated military technology to a foreign terrorist organization.
Nadarajah and another suspect Suresh Sriskandarajah, alleged operatives of the LTTE, were extradited from Canada and arraigned on December 27, 2012 in the United State federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
He has asked the judge to sentence him for 16 months, the time he already served behind bars in Canada and the U.S., but the judge has sentenced him to 2 years.
He is likely to be deported to Canada after he served the sentence, the National Post said.
Nadarajah was charged with conspiring and attempting to acquire US$1 million worth of anti-aircraft missiles, missile launchers, and other military equipment and conspiring and attempting to provide material support to the LTTE.
According to a FBI statement Nadarajah and several co-conspirators have negotiated with an undercover FBI agent to purchase and export US$1 million worth of high-powered weapons and military equipment for the LTTE, including 20 SA-18 heat-seeking, surface-to-air, anti-aircraft missiles; 10 missile launchers; and 500 AK-47s.
Nadarajah and his associates have attempted to acquire the weapons at the direction of senior LTTE leadership in Sri Lanka, including Pottu Amman, and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran. The anti-aircraft weapons were to be used by the LTTE to shoot down Kfir aircraft used by the Sri Lankan military.
He was arrested in Toronto following a joint RCMP-FBI investigation called Project O-Needle in 2006. He fought extradition in Canada, in December 2012 lost the battle when the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed the orders to extradite Nadarajah to the U.S. to face charges against him.
Nadarajah is the sixth Canadian to be imprisoned as a result of the joint RCMP-FBI investigation into the North American support network that financed and supplied the Tamil Tigers.