21 May 2012

Former army chief to be freed

11:28 am on 21 May 2012

President Mahinda Rajapakse of Sri Lanka has ordered the release of his jailed political rival Sarath Fonseka, the former head of the army.

General Fonseka was jailed for corruption two years ago after contesting the presidency against Mr Rajapakse.

He was widely credited with the victory over the Tamil Tigers in 2009, after a civil war lasting 26 years.

Sri Lanka marked the anniversary of the end of the war this weekend. A large military parade was held in the capital, Colombo, on Saturday.

The BBC reports General Fonseka has been receiving treatment for a respiratory problem.

An aide has told the BBC that he is likely be freed on Monday, which is also the day that doctors say he can be discharged from the hospital.