Fonseka says govt carrying out political vendetta | world | Hindustan Times
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Fonseka says govt carrying out political vendetta

Former army chief Sarath Fonseka said today that he was a victim of political vendetta and, like in the first court martial, he was expecting to be indicted in the second one and dispatched to jail. Sutirtho Patranobis reports.

world Updated: Aug 20, 2010 01:05 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

Former army chief Sarath Fonseka said on Thursday that he was a victim of political vendetta and, like in the first court martial, he was expecting to be indicted in the second one and dispatched to jail.

Addressing a press conference in Parliament, Fonseka, who's a member of Parliament, said the first court martial – in which he was indicted of engaging in politics and had his rank and medals removed – was one-sided as his counsel wasn't present when the court announced the verdict. He added that his medals and ranks could be removed but it would be impossible to wipe out his 40 years of service in the army.

Fonseka has been in military custody since February 8. He said he was anticipating that he would be indicted of corruption in the second court martial – in which he has been accused of sealing corrupt deals while army chief -- and sent to jail.

The verdict of the second case is expected by the weekend.

Fonseka said the government was carrying out a political vendetta against him as he was the opposition's candidate against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the January 26 Presidential election.

He said to live in this country one had to be on the side of the government.

On the issue of former Tamil Tiger chief S Pathmanathan or KP being given VIP treatment in custody, Fonseka said while many lesser LTTE cadres are in jail, the most wanted man is being treated the best way.

KP was talking about setting up a transnational government of the Tamil Eelam but is now the government's most important guest, he said, adding that he will not be surprised if the former Tiger leader was given a post in the government.

About the main opposition, the United National Party (UNP), Fonseka said it would have to change some of its policies for him to join them.