Appellants granted time extention in Rajapakse war-crimes case

[TamilNet, Thursday, 22 November 2012, 15:41 GMT]
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted appellants’ motion for extension of time to file the Reply brief, by two weeks, in the appeal case against Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse for civil damages on war-crimes charges, according to the court docket. The revised briefing schedule indicated that the Appellant's Reply brief will now have to be filed by December 7, 2012. Attorney for the Appellants, Bruce Fein, told the court that the the intervening holidays and his case work load had necessitated the request for extension and the Court granted his motion.

The Appellant attorney affirmed that "[t]he motion has not been filed for the purpose of delay or other improper purpose. Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP)-11 (c)(1) allows the Court to impose sanctions on the attorney or law firm if the court determines that the motion is "being presented for an improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the cost of litigation."

The case filed by three Tamil plaintiffs is on appeal from a final order dismissing the complaint for lack of jurisdiction based on a suggestion of immunity for Rajapakse filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the Department of State.

The complaint was filed first in 2011 at the District Court for this case alleged multiple violations of the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA) based on Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa’s command responsibility for the extrajudicial killings of Ragihar Manoharan, the son of Plaintiff Dr. Kasippillai Manoharan, of Premas Anandarajah, a humanitarian aid worker for Action Against Hunger, and husband of Plaintiff Kalaiselvi Lavan, and four members of the Thevarajah family, all relatives of Plaintiff Jeyakumar Aiyathurai.


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