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 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
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Support Engi...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...