The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) is not a criminal organisation, said the Swiss Federal Court in its decision to acquit 12 people who raised funds for the group when it was active.
The ruling, published on Tuesday, said LTTE was not regarded as a criminal group when the 12 were raising money for it between 1999 and 2009.
LTTE became defunct in 2009 after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war.
The Swiss court said even if the group had carried out terrorist attacks, its “primary objective was to be recognised as an independent ethnic community”.
The case against the 12, some of whom are members of the Tamil diaspora in Switzerland, was filed by the Swiss attorney-general’s office, which accused them of breaking local laws by raising funds for LTTE.
The A-G’s office accused them of sending money to the World Tamil Coordinating Committee (WTCC), but the court last year found insufficient evidence to establish a link between LTTE and WTCC.
The verdict was appealed by the A-G’s office, leading to the apex court’s decision this week to uphold the previous ruling.
In Malaysia, 12 men, including two DAP assemblymen, are on trial for allegedly supporting LTTE.
They were charged after police launched an investigation into a gathering in conjunction with Heroes’ Day to remember those who died fighting for the group during the Sri Lankan civil war. – TMI