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Last updated: 20 October, 2009 - Published 12:04 GMT
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Tissa's publisher 'to be released'
Mr. Jaseeharan (L) with Mr. Tissanayagam at the courts (file photo)
Mr. Tissanayagam was earlier sentenced to 20 years of RI
The Attorney General (AG) in Sri Lanka has expressed his willingness to withdraw the charges against the publisher of an imprisoned journalist.

AG Mohan Peiris, PC, has informed Colombo High Court through state counsels that the charges against N. Jasiharan and his wife will be withdrawn provided the accused withdraw their Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions filed in the Supreme Court against police Terrorist Investigation Division (TID).

Mr. Jaseetharan is the publisher of North Eastern Monthly magazine, of which jailed journalist JS Tissainayagam was the editor.

The publisher, his wife, and the editor were charged - under tough anti-terrorism legislations - of conspiracy to discredit the government and the security forces.

Earlier, Colombo High Court found Mr. Tissainayagam guilty for the same charges and sentenced him for 20 years of rigorous imprisonment.

It is the harshest sentence ever meted out to a journalist in Sri Lanka.

Responding to AG’s statement on Tuesday, lawyers representing the publisher and the wife said the FR petition will only be withdrawn if the charges are withdrawn against their clients.

The judge ordered the lawyers representing both parties to discuss and come to a final conclusion.

The judgement was postponed until 26 October.

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