The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday informed the Tangalle Magistrate that the DNA samples found at the crime scene in the Tangalle tourist resort where British Red Cross worker Khuram Shaikh was murdered and his girlfriend gang raped on the Christmas Eve 2011, tallied with three leading suspects including Sampath Vidanapathirana, the former chairman of the UPFA led Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha.
The CID informed Magistrate Jayaki Alwis that the DNA tests carried out at Department of Forensic Medicine in Ragama proved that three suspects in the case were involved in the crime. The DNA taken from the blood samples and other materials found at the crime scene had tallied with the DNA of suspects Saman Deshapriya and Pradeep Chathuranga and the former local council chairman. At the request of the CID, the Tangalle Magistrate ordered the Government Analyst’s Department and the Department of Forensic Medicine to return the evidence that had been earlier sent for examination.
In this case non-summary proceedings have been initiated against eight suspects, namely Tangalle Local Council Chairman (UPFA) Sampath Vidanapathirana, his private secretary Mohottige Sarath (alias Sahan), Weerappuliga , H. T. Nuwan Chinthaka, E. T. Nadeera Shaman, Nalagama Praveen Chaturanga and Obada Arachchige Lahiru Kelum.
The CID has framed 16 charges, including causing grievous hurt to and murder of British national Khuram Shaikh, unlawful assembly and gang rape of his girl friend Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, causing injury to the tourist resort owner Rayana Akalanka and causing damage of over Rs. 160,000 and theft of liquor valued at over Rs. 40,000.
According to the complaint, Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow near Rochdale was murdered at the tourist resort ‘The Nature’ in Tangalle on December 25, 2011 while he was on a holiday from his work as a Red Cross worker in Gaza. A graduate from Salford University, Shaikh was shot and stabbed when he and his Russian girlfriend, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, were allegedly attacked at the resort by the suspects led by the UPFA politician. Later they had allegedly gang raped Khuram’s girlfriend. (Susitha R. Fernando)