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Sri Lanka told to commence trial over UK national's killing

2013 Jun 26

The British government on Monday raised concerns over the failure by the Sri Lankan authorities to commence trial proceedings into the murder of a British citizen in December 2011.

A statement by the British High Commission in Colombo recalled that it has now been 18 months since the murder of Khuram Shaikh and assault on his partner Victoria, while they were on holiday in Tangalle in southern Sri Lanka.

The British High Commission said it is deeply disappointed that trial proceedings have not yet commenced and continues to call for the perpetrators of this terrible crime to be brought to justice.

As well as being important for Shaikh's family, the High Commission said that justice being done will bring some assurance and peace of mind for other British tourists who visit Sri Lanka each year.

The Sri Lankan government said in March that the attorney general is to forward a direct indictment to the High Court, without a non summary inquiry, relating to the death of Khuram Shaikh.

It said that a special prosecutor has been nominated by the attorney general to conduct the prosecution under the guidance of the additional solicitor general who heads the Criminal Division of the Attorney General's Department.

British Member of Parliament Simon Danczuk had recently welcomed comments made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son Namal Rajapaksa that "there has to be a trial" to make sure the people who murdered his constituent are brought to justice.

Local politician, Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathiran, was one of the suspects in the killing but was later released on bail.

Danczuk said it was now widely acknowledged in Sri Lankan politics that the murder of Khuram Shaikh had damaged the country' s reputation.

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