Sri Lankan politician and three others jailed for killing Briton and raping his Russian girlfriend

The men were given 20 years each for the death of aid worker Khuram Shaikh, 32, who had been on holiday with his girlfriend

A Sri Lankan politician is one of a group of men sentenced to 20 years 'rigorous imprisonment' each for the death of a British tourist and the rape of a woman.

Sampath Vidanapathirana and three others were each given the same jail term by the High Court in Colombo, western Sri Lanka.

Briton Khuram Shaikh was stabbed and then shot to death and his Russian girlfriend raped at a southern tourist resort on Christmas Day 2011.

Charges had been filed against a further two but they have been discharged today.

Shaikh, 32, a “committed” Red Cross worker, was on holiday in the South Asian country with his girlfriend when they were attacked in the resort of Tangalle.

Shaikh, a physiotherapist from Manchester, had been taking a break from his Red Cross work in the Middle East, where he had been providing prosthetics for people who had lost limbs in Gaza.

The couple were believed to have been assaulted after trying to stop a fight at a hotel.

Vidanapathirana, who had been the chairman of Tangalle village council, and his co-defendants were also fined 20,000 rupees (£88) and ordered to pay 200,000 rupees (£900) in compensation each, Reuters reports.

Khuram Shaikh was murdered at a holiday resort in Sri Lanka Khuram Shaikh was killed on holiday in Sri Lanka Judge Rohini Walgama said: "I have given this judgment by taking into account the evidence that was led in accordance with my conscience," the BBC reports.

Shaikh’s then-girlfriend and his brother, Nasser, were in court to see the sentences being passed.

“Whilst our family and friends find it difficult to come to terms with the tragic loss, I hope today can bring some comfort to everyone involved that we achieved the justice we set out for and the country can move forward in a better place for many, ensuring no other person suffers the same fate as my brother,” Nasser said in a statement.

A 'Justice for Khuram Shaikh' campaign had been spearheaded by Nasser.

The conclusion of the case comes after heightened tensions between British diplomats and Sri Lankan officials, who were accused of being too slow in bringing the four to justice.

There were also allegations that Vidanapathirana had been given impunity thanks to his connections with the family of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and that the defendant had been intimidating witnesses.

Additional reporting by agencies

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee