By Colombo Telegraph –
Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka is barred from political office for seven years, despite being freed from jail on Monday, his lawyer says, BBC’s Charles Haviland reports. Fonseka’s lawyer, Nalin Laduwahetti, told BBC that the terms of his release prevent him from running for office. They are trying to secure a full pardon for the chief.
The President has remitted Fonseka’s two-and-a-half year jail sentence for corruption, but has not pardoned him or annulled the sentence already served. This means he is subject to a seven-year restriction of his civic rights.
The government is interpreting the Constitution to rule that he can vote but cannot contest an election in that period.
The attorney-general has also noted that there is still one case pending against Mr Fonseka, that of harbouring army deserters.
Nalin Laduwahetti told the BBC that they are “looking at all political and legal possibilities” to try to secure a more complete pardon for the former army chief.
A supporter of Sarath Fonseka and former Chief Justice, Sarath Silva, has commented that Fonseka is “a prisoner in the open”.