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Victoria to attend Shaikh murder trial

2014 Jan 27

By Sulochana Ramiah Mohan
 
Might be accompanied by Shaikh’s Rochdale MP
 

Russia born Victoria Tkacheva, the only eyewitness and girlfriend of Red Cross worker, Khuram Shaikh, who was murdered in Tangalle, will be in Sri Lanka on 26 March to attend the murder trial at the Colombo High Court, Khuram Shaikh's Rochdale Constituency MP Simon Danczuk's office said.
 

Victoria was gang raped and her partner murdered on Christmas Eve in 2011. Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman, Sampath Vidanapathirana, was apprehended last week, having gone into hiding in the Kotte area after missing his 8 January Court date.
 
When contacted, MP Simon Danczuk's office revealed that the MP may also be present with Victoria, but it had not been confirmed as he was in Russia. "Once he returns we would discuss his plans to visit Sri Lanka with Victoria," the MP's spokesperson told Ceylon Today.
 

Tangalle PS Chiraman Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana and five others are accused of killing Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh and gang raping his girlfriend in Tangalle on 25 December 2011.
Attorney General Palitha Fernando told Ceylon Today, every trial is seriously considered and Khuram's case delayed due to the DNA report. "When all the evidence was collected we called for the indictment. We have also not let the suspects get bail. Also, to avoid further speculations that holding the case in Tangalle could be in 'favour' of the suspects, I took the initiative, as the AG, to transfer the case to the Colombo High Court. We have summoned Ms Victoria and the trial will go on as scheduled."
 

Earlier, MP Simon Danczuk, speaking after the High Court judge read the indictments to the suspects and set the trial date, said it was an encouraging development. He told Ceylon Today, "This has been a long and hard campaign and let's hope this is now the beginning of the end. We have had to push very hard to get the Sri Lankan authorities to properly investigate this terrible crime and the family have waited nearly two years for justice. They are heartbroken and want closure. If Sri Lanka wants to continue to develop its tourism sector then it needs to send out a very clear message. When British tourists are brutally murdered, then we need to see justice being delivered and the killers put behind bars."

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