Jan 10, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court sentenced two cadres of the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorist group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for bombing of a military aircraft over 18 years ago.
North Central Provincial High Court Judge Mahesh Weeraman today sentenced the two LTTE cadres, who pled guilty to launching a missile attack on a Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft in 2000 killing 37 people, to 185 years rigorous imprisonment.
The attorney General indicted the two LTTE cadres of the LTTE Missile Brigade, Rajathurai Jagan alias Kulawan (41) and Nallan Sivalingam alias Sinnathilakan (43), both residents of Irasathurai in Jaffna, on 37 charges.
The court heard that the suspects fired a missile at the Antonov-32 aircraft flying from Palaly to Ratmalana over Anuradhapura on or near 30th of March 2000 and downed the plane killing 37 people onboard.
At the time of the missile attack, members of the Air Force, the Navy and the Police and the Russian pilot were among the 37 people killed.
The Attorney General had indicted the two suspects each separately on 37 counts and the suspects pled guilty to all 37 charges today.
The Judge ordered five years of rigorous imprisonment for each count, a total of 185 years for each suspect to be served in five years.
The two LTTE suspects arrested in 2012 in Kilinochchi had revealed that the rebels had fired missiles towards the aircraft from Wilpattu jungles. The Police had recovered parts of the missiles used in the attack.