Oz Supreme Court frees three LTTE supporters

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Melbourne, Mar. 31 (ANI): An Australian Supreme Court has allowed three Australian-based backers of the Tamil Tigers to walk free after they admitted supporting the LTTE monetarily.

Tamil community newspaper editor Sivarajah Yathavan, 39, Aruran Vinayagamoorthy, 35, and Sydney accountant Arumugan Rajeevan, 43, each pleaded guilty to providing more than a-million-dollars in cash to the terrorist group, the Herald Sun reports.

They told the Supreme Court that an Australian-based charity was used as a cover to collect and send money to the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Vinayagamoorthy also pleaded guilty to making electronic components available to the Tamil Tigers.

But Supreme Court judge Paul Coghlan today freed all three men on bonds of good behaviour.

Police raids on their homes in 2005 found photographic evidence linking some of them to LTTE's world leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in Sri Lanka, the report says.

Police also found dramatic video footage of Rajeevan and Yathavan firing a machinegun on a Tamil Tiger gunboat in Sri Lanka during a demonstration of the group's firepower at sea, it adds.

In 2007, all three were charged with serious terrorism offences carrying sentences of 25 years, including that they were members of a terrorist organisation, provided support to a terrorist organisation and made funds available to a terrorist organisation.

Those charges, however, were dropped last year because LTTE wasn't officially declared as terrorist organization by the Australian Government. (ANI)

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