Former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidana Pathirana and three others found guilty of the murder of British tourist Khuram Sheik and of raping his Russian girlfriend Victoria Alexandrovna were sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment on each of the two counts a short while ago.
The tragedy had occurred at the Tangalle Resort on December 24, 2012.
Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama sentenced the accused: Lahiru Kelum, Saman Deshapriya, former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Chandrpushpta Vidana Pathirana and Prageeth Chaturanga for 40 years RI on the charge of murder and rape with the jail terms to run concurrently.
The Judge acquitted M. Sarath alias Sahan and W. Chaturanga of the charges on the grounds that they were not proved beyond reasonable doubt.
Before delivering judgment, the Judge addressed the prosecution and the defence saying that more than anyone else it was she who had to face many challenges during this case. She said the trial began on April 3 and took her three and half months to conclude. The Judge said even though this was a special case unlike other such cases where they were heard before a jury or at a trial-at-bar but where this case was concerned she was on her own.
She thanked the prosecution and the defense counsel for the manner in which they presented their arguments and assisted her during the trial.
The Judge thanked the stenographers who worked round the clock in preparing the lists of witness and noting their evidence.
High Court Judge Walgama said she did not consider sitting on this case as a duty but as an obligation entrusted to her by God. She said she did her best not to be prejudiced by what appeared in the media and passed sentenced after contentiously weighing the evidence and urged those convicted of the crime to look deep into their conscience before appealing her judgement.(FT)
Comments - 42
jan chandra Saturday, 19 July 2014 03:55 AM
Good outcome for the country.
A-Vin Friday, 18 July 2014 12:57 PM
Miracle.... ( via DM Android App
Fernando Friday, 18 July 2014 12:58 PM
This guy shouldve been hanged. Now its likely to be Presidential pardon on 04th February 2015. via DM iPad app
muji Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:15 PM
Russian Mafia is monitering,it not easy
shan Saturday, 19 July 2014 07:06 PM
Indi If you cannot write in English kindly read Lankadeepa.
raj Friday, 18 July 2014 10:45 AM
only 20 years for murder and rape via DM Android App
Idiot Friday, 18 July 2014 05:16 AM
Only twenty years for a crime of this nature? This means he'll be out in a few years for "good behavior" and/or presidential pardon. He should have received multiple life sentences in order to keep him behind bars for a 10-20 years
philip Friday, 18 July 2014 05:16 AM
He will be given a presidential pardon in one year's time and will be a free man.
Kasun Friday, 18 July 2014 10:50 AM
Punishment is not sufficient... via DM Android App
Fayad Friday, 18 July 2014 05:20 AM
Why not death sentence ? 20 years can be given for rape
malkanthi Friday, 18 July 2014 05:20 AM
This involves Russia and Britain both, so no option for the judges, an eye wash!
Chathu Friday, 18 July 2014 05:22 AM
Do hope, this verdict will be an alarm to other criminals as well! Good move by the judiciary!
hambanda Friday, 18 July 2014 05:23 AM
Presidential pardon to follow.....hoodwinking the world at large.
Kasun Friday, 18 July 2014 05:24 AM
He should be hanged
citizen Friday, 18 July 2014 10:56 AM
For murder only 20 yrs no DEATH sentence lucky guy via DM Android App
R.R.Rohan Friday, 18 July 2014 05:26 AM
what a country are we living in? is there's something call justice in this nation under this government?
lankan Saturday, 19 July 2014 01:56 AM
Presidential pardon for sure maximum with in 2 years and he will be picked by SLFP to contest for parliamentary election like other criminals. No wonder Sri Lanka via DM Android App
ACG Friday, 18 July 2014 05:28 AM
Not enough..should have been death by hanging for all.
Appuhami Friday, 18 July 2014 05:30 AM
This not enough at all.
Puffy Friday, 18 July 2014 05:31 AM
20 YEARS??? even the Royal Park murderer got a life sentence after the initial judgement was appealed... he will be out soon!
Justitia Friday, 18 July 2014 05:32 AM
Perhaps the Attorney General could appeal against the leniency of the sentence as in the Royal Park case.
Chullante Jayasuriya Friday, 18 July 2014 05:33 AM
And why not the Death Sentence?
Iron_Lion_Zion Friday, 18 July 2014 05:38 AM
Travesty of Justice
Francis Friday, 18 July 2014 05:40 AM
AG should appeal against the verdict and ask for death penalty for the bastards like how it was done in royal park murder.
Hasantha Friday, 18 July 2014 05:41 AM
Now the patriotic President can show his commitments to the nation by offering presidential pardon to these criminals
An Angle Friday, 18 July 2014 05:42 AM
Not sufficient. Signal of releasing the culprits soon or later.
ajith john Friday, 18 July 2014 05:42 AM
Only 20 years for murder and rape? - this must be the fastest trial and verdict in Sri Lanka history on a case as this.
Mohan Friday, 18 July 2014 05:42 AM
The sentence is too lenient.The Law must be applied equally to all convicted of murder. The Appeal Courts must look into this sentence.
Perera Saturday, 19 July 2014 04:22 PM
Way to go Sri Lanka..... cheers!!!!
zaha Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:04 AM
What great country to commit murder I should invite my enemy to spend holiday.
ANTON Friday, 18 July 2014 05:47 AM
I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE CORRECT MEANING OF "20 YEARS RIGOROUS IMPRISONMENT"
ARE THEY WARDED IN HOSPITALS ? ARE THERE A/C ROOMS FOR THEM ?
ARE THEY WARDED IN HOSPITALS ? ARE THERE A/C ROOMS FOR THEM ?')" type="button" class="btn btn-outline-secondary btn-sm" style="padding-top: 0px; padding-bottom: 2px">Reply
lkboy Friday, 18 July 2014 05:49 AM
Only 20 years for this sort of crime??
sumith Friday, 18 July 2014 06:02 AM
would he get a presidential pardon in six months and go free..
Saman Saturday, 19 July 2014 12:57 AM
The rapist and murderer should have been sentenced to death. He had done a double murder by raping. It seems a soft punishment. Fellow will stay in the prison hospital and enjoy all what he was doing before, I guess. Why not be the first person to test the new method proposed instead of hanging to death.
hashhhsl Saturday, 19 July 2014 01:17 AM
When convicted yoou find faults with that. when set free you will find faults with that. No matter what you will always find faults. No wonder this country is going to dogs. Learn say good for good things and bad for bad things
basics Friday, 18 July 2014 11:52 AM
... and injustice for all via DM Android App
Fernando Saturday, 19 July 2014 07:28 AM
20years, too lenient. Death is fair enough. or both 40years in prison.
Jamalji Saturday, 19 July 2014 02:53 AM
Dalada Maligawa bombing case sentences ran consecutively. Here concurrently. Blood is thicker thah water Murder and rape publicly.Aiyo !
Perumal Saturday, 19 July 2014 02:55 AM
[quote name="Fayad"]Why not death sentence ? 20 years can be given for rape[/quote] Because HE must have some space for granting him pardon.
mad man Saturday, 19 July 2014 03:15 AM
20 yrs of luxury life......lucky guy
indi Saturday, 19 July 2014 03:19 AM
minihawa marala geniwa dooshanaya karana deshapalana nayakayo inna loke ekama rata lankaawa. mulu lokema den mebawa dannawa. thawa kathaa kumatada.
ABC Friday, 18 July 2014 12:37 PM
This means more tax payers (our) money to feed 5 criminals over x years. via DM Android App
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