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Guilty plea in Tamil Tiger trial

Tamil Tiger fighters rehearse to break through outer defence lines of a military camp at a training camp in the north east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, July 2007
Tamil Tigers fought for an independent state for the Tamil minority

Four men accused of supporting Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in the US.

The defendants included Karunakaran Kandasamy, who has been identified by federal prosecutors as the Tamil Tigers' top US representative.

Prosecutors say he is the mastermind of an undercover campaign that raised and laundered millions of dollars through a charity front organisation.

The rebels were defeated last month by the Sri Lankan army.

Mr Kandasamy, 51, "has accepted full responsibility for his actions in this matter" defending lawyer Charles A Ross said outside court in New York.

The former cab driver faces 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on 11 November.

Mr Kandasamy said that he will be seeking a "merciful sentence" for his client because of the complexities of the war there and because of Mr Kandasamy's poor health.

The rebels were fighting for a separate state for minority Tamils in the north and east of the country.

Others who pleaded guilty on Tuesday included a defendant accused of helping buy explosives, missiles, anti-aircraft guns and other weapons for the Tamil Tigers.

Another was charged with trying to bribe US officials to remove the group from the terrorism list.

Earlier this year, four other defendants pleaded guilty to similar charges on the eve of their trial in Brooklyn.



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