U.S urged to drop charges against Canadian accused of supporting terrorism

law 2        The Sri Lankan government has asked the United States to abandon the prosecution of a Canadian charged with buying equipment and laundering money for the separatist Tamil Tigers rebels.

The extraordinary request, in a letter sent to the U.S. State Department, concerns Suresh Sriskandarajah, 32, who was extradited to New York in December to stand trial on terrorism charges.

The letter, which surfaced at Mr. Suresh’s bail hearing last month, urged the U.S. to drop the charges against Mr. Suresh “in light of his publicly recognized efforts to secure a lasting, peaceful reconciliation for the Tamil people,” wrote Judge Raymond Dearie of the U.S. District Court. The U.S. court documents do not explain why Sri Lanka intervened in Mr. Suresh’s trial.

In 2006, three Canadians of Sri Lankan descent were arrested in New York after trying to buy rifles and missiles from an undercover police informant. They have all since pleaded guilty. Three more suspects were arrested in the Toronto area.

Among them was Mr. Suresh, also known as Waterloo Suresh, an engineer and former head of the University of Waterloo Tamil Students Association. U.S. prosecutors alleged he helped launder $13,000 in rebel funds through U.S. bank accounts.

He was also accused of working with a Canadian co-conspirator, Ramanan Mylvaganam, to buy night-vision goggles, electronic equipment and submarine design software for the rebels. Mylvaganam pleaded guilty last year.

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