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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 March 2008, 17:07 GMT
Sri Lankan rebel leader indicted
Tamil Tiger leader Prabhakaran
The government has vowed to kill Mr Prabhakaran
The Sri Lankan attorney general has formally indicted Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.

He is accused with five others of the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar in 2005.

The attorney general said that the case will be presented to the high court directly because of its importance.

He said at least two witnesses, whose identities will be hidden, will give evidence at the trial. Mr Kadirgamar was shot dead at his home in Colombo.

Mr Prabhakaran has already been tried in absentia and found guilty for the Central Bank bombing in Colombo in 1996, which killed nearly 80 people. He was sentenced to 200 years in jail.

Air force strike

Attorney General CR de Silva said that the main accusation against Mr Prabhakaran and the other suspects is that they conspired to kill the former foreign minister between 5 and 12 January 2005.

They are also accused of aiding the assassin, who has been named as Vijayan.

The Sri Lankan military - which has made no secret of its desire to kill Mr Prabhakaran - has said that he was injured in a strike by the air force in December.

The strike targeted him at the rebel headquarters in northern Kilinochchi district on 26 November, a military statement said.

Fighting between troops and the rebels, who want autonomy for minority Tamils in the north and east, has intensified over the last year.

A Norwegian-brokered 2002 ceasefire gradually fell apart over the past two years, resulting in renewed fighting that has killed more than 5,000 people.

At least 70,000 people have died since the war began in 1983.



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