Fonseka granted further time to consider evidence

‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar
By Manopriya Gunasekara

The High Court Trial-at-Bar hearing the ‘White flag’ case against former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka this week granted further time for Mr. Fonseka to consider his evidence before the Court.
This was after Senior Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty sought a postponement of the trial in view of what he called the local and current developments which require time for the witness to further consider his evidence.

Sarath Fonseka leaving court on Wednesday

Deputy Solicitor General Buwaneka Aluvihare consented for the postponement. Five of the nine witnesses listed by the Defence were present. They were: DNA MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake, Supreme Court Registrar R.A.S.G. Ranawaka, Colombo High Court No 1 Registrar K.A.C.Perera, National Archives Director Ms. Saroja Wettasinghe and Sukumar Rockwood, Convener of the Editors' Guild/Sri Lanka Press Institute Journalism Awards programme. Summons were re-issued on Ms. Raisa Wickrematunga, daughter of Leader Publications Chairman Lal Wickrematunga.

The other witnesses listed are UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya, UNP MP Mangala Samaraweera, and Prof. Ashley Halpe. Mr. Fonseka is charged with having stated in an interview with The Sunday Leader newspaper that Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa had ordered not to spare any of the LTTE cadres surrendering even if they were coming with white flags during the last stages of the military assault on the guerrillas in May, 2009.

He is charged with making a false statement to The Sunday Leader, arousing communal and anti-government feelings among the public and creating disputes among them. The Trial-at-Bar consists of Judges Deepali Wijesundara (President), W.T. M. P.B. Warawewa and M.S Razeen.

The next hearing is on May 4.

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