Friday, July 11, 2014

Sri Lanka: Update--High Court to Rule in Murder of Briton, Gang-Rape of Russian Girlfriend on July 18

According to The Colombo Page, Sri Lanka's Colombo High Court will deliver the verdict of the high-profile murder trial of the British national Khuram Shaikh, 32, and the gang-rape of his Russian girlfriend on July 18.
When the case was taken up for hearing today, the Colombo Chief High Court Judge Rohini Walgama said the verdict of the controversial murder and gang-rape trial will be issued on July 18.

The murder trial of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh at a resort in southern town of Tangalle on Christmas Eve of 2011 drew world's attention when the case was dragged on for over two years due to the political influence of the suspects. 

COMMENT: Khuram Shaikh Zaman, 32, was killed and his companion, Victoria Alexandrovna of Russia, now 25, was assaulted and gang raped in a brawl during a party at a tourist hotel in Rekawa, Tangalle, on Christmas Eve in 2011. 

The main allegation against the defendants is the murder of Khuram Shaikh and the raping of Victoria Alexandra. 

The main suspect, former ruling party Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana and six others, were arrested and remanded following the murder, but the case dragged on until international pressure mounted on the Sri Lankan government to bring the culprits to justice. 

The case was later transferred from the Tangalle Magistrate's Court to Colombo on the request of the Attorney General since the suspects have been threatening witnesses at the trial.