It is illogical to prosecute Sri Lanka’s only four-star General over an interview allegedly given by him in the run-up to the Jan. 26, 2010 presidential poll only on the basis of evidence given by the ‘Sunday Leader’ editor Frederica Jansz said Defense Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty when he summed up evidence before the three-Judge-Bench in the ‘White Flag case’ yesterday. The three-Judge-Bench comprises Judges Deepali Wijesundera (President), W. M. T. P. B. Warawewa and M. Z. Razeen.
Stating that the ‘Sunday Leader’ editor Frederica Jansz, who is now fighting a spate of defamation cases Mr. Ladduwahetty said Ms. Jansz’s evidence and her actions since her alleged interview with Gen. Fonseka on Dec. 8, 2009 and subsequent actions culminating in her appearance in the Colombo High Court should be viewed in the backdrop of a series of libelous attacks directed at the judiciary, including the Chief Justice and Defense Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, among others.
Regarding section 29, on which Gen. Fonseka is charge with the Defense Counsel said that the charge was irrelevant as the General had not published the said news item.. He giving information and actual publication were two different things. He added that legal action should have been directed against Lal Wickrematunga and Ms. Jansz, under Section 29 instead of prosecuting Gen. Fonseka.
The Defence Counsel said that a common factor, as regards three counts in the indictment, was a statement in Sinhala attributed to the then Opposition presidential candidate Gen. Fonseka that Defense Secretary Rajapaksa had ordered the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 58 Division, Brig. Shavendra Silva not to allow any LTTE leader to surrender and to kill those surrendering leaders. Emphasizing that whatever the discussion involving Gen. Fonseka, Ms. Jansz and Wickrematunga was held in English, the Defense Counsel said that what was in the indictment were definitely not Gen. Fonseka’s words. Therefore, what was attributed to Fonseka in Sinhala wasn’t acceptable as the Court wasn’t aware of the identity of the translator.
Sittings resume today at 11 a.m.