'President has only reduced SF's prison term'
May 24, 2012
The special presidential pardon granted to former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka had only reduced his prison term by nine months and 25 days and therefore his conviction and civic disability remain unchanged, a senior legal expert said yesterday.

He said Mr. Fonseka was released under a special decree issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa last Friday by virtue of the constitutional powers vested in him and added that by granting a remission Mr. Fonseka did not have to serve the full sentence.

The legal expert said Mr. Fonseka had to serve the full term of two and half years in prison after he was sentenced by the first Court Martial on September 17, 2010.

"In the absence of a presidential pardon under Article 34 D of the Constitution, Mr. Fonseka will have to serve his full prison term which will end on March 16, next year," he said adding that he could not contest elections for any public office because his civil rights had been removed by a Court Martial that convicted him in 2010 though he could engage in political work.

Mr. Fonseka can vote in an election subject to registration in the electoral register but his conviction and the removal of civic rights stand unchanged. Meanwhile, Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Ministry Secretary A. Dissanayaka said Mr. Fonseka did not get the parole or amnesty given to other prisoners as he has several other court cases pending against him.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka