Friday, March 28, 2014

Sri Lanka: Update--Murdered British Aid Worker Khuram Shaikh's Russian Girlfriend Cross-Examined

According to the UK's Daily Mirror, during the second day of cross examination, murdered British aid worker Khuram Shaikh Zaman's girlfriend, Victoria Alexandrovna, now 25, requested the Court consider her frame of mind at the time of the crime, which occurred on Christmas Eve 2011.

Victoria Alexandrovna said this when the defense counsel was repeatedly referred to her previous statement on December 24, 2011 when Shaikh was murdered and she was gang-raped by the defendants.

The trial into the killing of British tourist Khuram Shaikh at a Tangalle resort was taken up before High Court Judge Rohini Walgama.

Ms. Alexandrovna told the Court that though she has now identified the suspect, who assaulted her at the poolside, she had not pointed him out during the "line-up" at the time out of fear for her life, considering that the defendants were at the time very well-connected politically.

Responding to questions asked by defense counsel for the third defendant, former Tangalle PS Chairman Kalinga Indratissa, she said she was gang-raped by those who killed her boyfriend Khuram, stating that she had bruises following the attack. 

COMMENT: It needs to emphasized that justice delayed from the time Khuram was murdered and Ms. Alexandrovna gang-raped on December 24, 2011 to March 28, 2014, occurred largely because the defendants had political influenced that rendered them "untouchable."

As Ms. Alexandrovna testified, the victim emphasized that she no longer feared for her life given the fact that all defendants have been remanded into custody and that she has been afforded 24/7 security protection. 

Kuram Shaikah Zaman, a British national, and his companion, Russian national Victoria Alexandrovna, 23 (at the time of the attack), reportedly was sexually harassed by at least three Sri Lankans at a resort in Tangalle (about 100 miles south of Colombo), resulting in the death of Zaman and the gang-rape of Alexandrovna. 

The actual attacks on Zaman and Alexandrovna occurred during the early morning hours of December 25, 2011.

An autopsy revealed that Zaman had been attacked by a sharp weapon and shot and killed by a firearm as well. Alexandrovna was gang-raped and treated at Karapitiya Hospital in Galle.

Hoteliers in Tangalle reported that following the incident, a number of foreign tourists vacated the resort where Zaman was killed and Ms. Alexandrovna gang-raped.