*‘White Flag’ Trial-at-Bar
*Defence Counsel says leaking cell roof, lack of exercise make SF ill
HC Judge: SF, other prisoners shouldn’t be inconvenienced

by Shamindra Ferdinando

High Court Judge Mrs. Deepali Wijesundera on Thursday (Nov. 18) said that not only General Sarath Fonseka, but all those held in prisons shouldn’t be inconvenienced.

The President of the Colombo High Court Trial-at-Bar comprising HC Judges, M. P. B. Warawewa and M. Z. Razeen, stressed that prisoners should held in proper conditions.

Judge Wijesundera was responding to Defence Counsel Nalin Ladduwahetty, who informed the Trial-at-Bar of his client General Sarath Fonseka’s inability to attend Court as he wasn’t feeling well. Citing medical reports, Ladduwahetty said that General Fonseka had fallen sick due to failure on the part of those responsible to provide a treadmill.

General Fonseka, Ladduwahetty said had been asked to engage in a one-hour work-out daily due to injuries the former Army Commander suffered in an LTTE suicide attack.

Prosecutor Deputy Solicitor General Wasantha Nawaratna Bandara said that he didn’t oppose the accused being moved to a different cell.

The Defence Counsel said that General Fonseka had been given five buckets by prison authorities as the cell leaked during recent showers. The Attorney-at-Law expressed concern over the well being of the accused indicted in the Colombo High Court for levelling war crimes charge against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Ladduwahetty said that the accused hadn’t been provided with an exercise machine, though he made representations to the Trial-at-Bar on many previous occasions. The Court endorsed an appeal by the Defence Counsel to allow well wishers to donate an exercise machine to the former Chief of Defence Staff.

The Defence Council said that two doctors, including one based at the Welikada prisons hospital had recommended General Fonseka engage in daily exercises.

The case will resume at 10.30 am on Tuesday, November 23.

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