Sri Lanka Tiger suspects’ bail may be appealed by Australia

MELBOURNE, July 17, 2007 (AFP) – Australia indicated on Tuesday that it may appeal a court ruling which granted bail to two men charged with supplying funds to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels. It follows the government’s decision on Monday to revoke the visa of an Indian doctor charged in connection with the British car bomb attacks, shortly after he received bail.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock asked prosecutors to consider appealing the granting of bail to Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 33, and Sivarajah Yathavan, 36, by the Supreme Court of Victoria state on Tuesday.

“I have asked the director of public prosecutions to examine whether the decision should be appealed,” Ruddock said.

The judge who bailed the men, Justice Bernard Bongiorno, said they should be presumed innocent until proven guilty and their trial should be free from political interference.

“If that principle is abandoned or even modified for political expediency that risks the whole foundation of our criminal justice system,” he said.

A third co-accused, Arumugam Rajeevan, 40, was also bailed Tuesday by another court but Ruddock’s office did not immediately say if the comments also applied to him.