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Former Sri Lankan army chief Fonseka given another jail term

Former Sri Lankan army chief, Sarath Fonseka, was on Friday sentenced to three years in jail after the High Court found him guilty of implicating the government in war crimes.

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Sri Lanka's former army chief Sarath Fonseka is escorted by police as he arrives at the Colombo High Court in Colombo on November 18, 2011. (Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Sri Lankan army chief, Sarath Fonseka, was on Friday sentenced to three years in jail after the High Court found him guilty of implicating the government in war crimes.

The court ruled that Fonseka, who ran against President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2010 elections, gave credibility to allegations the president's brother ordered rebel Tamil Tigers to be killed as they surrendered in May 2009, the BBC reported.

The president's brother is Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan defense secretary.

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Fonseka said did not accept the court's judgment. He is already serving a 30-month prison sentence after a court martial convicted him of irregularities in military procurements.

When Fonseka led the Sri Lankan army to victory against the Tamil Tigers in 2009, he was seen as “a hero," Al Jazeera reported.

But following the win, he had a falling out with President Rajapaksa and was arrested on a variety of charged shortly after he unsuccessfully challenged him in a presidential election.

Fonseka says the legal cases against him are politically motivated.

The three-year sentence handed won Friday is expected to include manual labor, Agence France Presse reported.

In a separate case, Fonseka also stands accused of harboring military deserters who he allegedly used as bodyguards during his failed election bid.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/111118/former-sri-lankan-army-chief-fonseka-jail