COLOMBO - A Sri Lankan court granted jailed ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka bail on Friday, paving the way for the implementation of a presidential pardon. The high court imposed bail of one million rupees ($8,000) on Fonseka in a case in which he is accused of employing military deserters, his lawyer said. President Mahinda announced Thursday he was granting a pardon to Fonseka, his erstwhile military chief turned main political foe. "I welcome the granting of bail to my husband today and I hope he will be released (after a presidential pardon) in the days to come," Fonseka's wife Anoma told reporters outside the Colombo High Court.The former four-star general was not in court Friday with his lawyer saying he was suffering from a respiratory problem caused by injuries he suffered in a suicide bomb attack in April 2006.Government officials said it was not immediately clear whether Fonseka would have to stand trial on the accusation of employing military deserters.But Fonseka's wife, who had met with Rajapakse on Wednesday night to discuss the terms of his release, said he expected to be given an unconditional pardon."I was promised that my husband will be cleared of all charges and released unconditionally," she told AFP.