(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeal has postponed the hearing of the appeals filed against the high court verdict on the Khuram Shaikh murder case to March 5.
The appeals have been filed by the five convicts including the former Chairman of the Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha, Sampath Vidanapathirana, who were sentenced over the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian partner in 2011.
The appeals were taken up before the Court of Appeal Judges Shiran Gunaratne and Priyantha Fernando this morning (01).
The Colombo High Court had imposed 20-year rigorous imprisonment on the five convicts for the murder of British national Khuram Shaikh and the rape of his Russian partner
However, the convicts had appealed that the imprisonment order issued by the Colombo High Court in 2014 is against the law and sought the Appeals Court to issue an order to acquit them.
Khuram Shaikh Zaman, 32, was killed and his companion, Victoria Alexandrovna of Russia 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 suspect, UPFA Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana and six others, were arrested and remanded following the murder, but the case dragged on due to the political influence of the suspects 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 the witnesses at the trial.
Meanwhile, the Appeals Court ordered to take up the appeal filed by the Attorney General, requesting to extend the rigorous imprisonment imposed on the convicts, on March 5th.