Saturday, 11 January 2014 11:40
Chief suspect in murder of British national in Tangalle in 2011 fails to appear in court
Lawyers claim suspect has been hospitalised
Khuram Shaikh murder trial set to begin in March
The Colombo High Court yesterday issued a warrant for the arrest of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman and ruling party member Sampath Vidanapathirana after he failed to appear before court in the case involving the murder of British tourist Khuram Shaikh in 2011.
Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama issued the warrant in the high profile murder case in which trial proceedings are scheduled to commence in March this year.
Lawyers for Vidanapathirana claimed the chief suspect in the Christmas day murder of Khuram Shaikh and the sexual assault on his companion was in hospital having suffered a heart attack. However no medical records were presented to court as proof of the suspect’s ill health. The ruling party strongman from Tangalle, a heartland of UPFA support, was indicted for the murder by the Attorney General in the Colombo High Court in November last year.
The Khuram Shaikh murder trial is set to commence on 26 March. The high profile case has been a concern raised by visiting British Parliamentarians and even Prime Minister David Cameron during the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo last year.