Fonseka case: Appeal Court judge withdraws
By S.S. Selvanayagam
Mar 20, 2010
An Appeal Court Judge, one of the three judges appointed to hear the Habeas Corpus application filed on behalf of retired General Sarath Fonseka and his writ application challenging the court martial, declined to sit on the bench citing personal reasons when the case came up yesterday.

As such the Court of Appeal yesterday re-fixed for support on March 25 the Habeas Corpus application and the writ application.

The three-judge bench comprised Justices Sathya Hettige, President of the Court, Ranjith Silva and D.S.C. Lekamwasam who yesterday withdrew from the case.Presidentís counsel Romesh de Silva with Riad Ameen, Sugath Caldera, Shanaka Cooray and Eraj de Silva instructed by Paul Ratnayake Associates appeared for the petitioners while deputy solicitor general Sanjay Rajaratnam with senior state counsel Nerin Pulle and state counsel Shamindra Wickrema appeared for the attorney general.

The Habeas Corpus application was filed on Thursday by General Fonsekaís wife Anoma seeking Court to direct the Army Commander, Army Provost Marshal, Navy Commander and the attorney general as the respondents to produce General Fonseka in Court to be dealt with according to civil law.

Ms. Fonseka alleged that ever since General Fonseka was nominated as common opposition candidate he was subjected to harassment with his security reduced to 62 personnel and three vehicles. She said on Election Day while the votes were being counted, security forces were ordered to surround the building occupied by General Fonseka.

Ms. Fonseka said her husband was arrested on February 8 but even his immediate family was not told of his whereabouts. He was even deprived of his medication on the night of his arrest.

She said he continued to be detained in military custody at the Navy Headquarters and that steps were being taken to convene a court martial against General Fonseka.

Ms. Fonseka said General Fonseka was alleged to have engaged in corrupt deals in respect of supplies to the Army; and to have engaged in political activity.She said the decision to his arrest and detention under military law was beyond ones legal authority and arbitrary, capricious, vexatious.

General Sarath Fonseka in his writ application filed on Thursday challenged the court martial that was set up to try him and his detention.

He cited Army Commander Jagath Jayasuriya, H.L. Weeratunga, A.L.R. Wijetunga, D.R.A.B. Jayatilake, W.J.S. Fernando and the attorney general as respondents.

General Fonseka said he challenged the presidential election results and ever since his nomination as common opposition presidential candidate he had been harassed in various ways.

He said he was not subject to military law and was seeking a writ prohibiting the court martial and prohibiting the Deputy Solicitor General from functioning as the Judge Advocate in the court martial and to have him released from military custody

Courtesy: Daily Mirror