Victoria Alexandrona the girlfriend of murdered British national Khuram Shaikh said although she identified the suspect who assaulted her at the poolside of the resort at the Tangalle Magistrate’s Court, she did not point him out during the identification parade in fear of her life.
The witness led by Senior State Counsel Thusitha Mudalige made this disclosure to High Court Judge Rohini Walgama, giving evidence at the High Court trial into the killing of British tourist Khuram Shaikh in a Tangalle resort on the night of December 24, 2011.
The witness also said she met Shaikh in North Korea when she went there to study on a scholarship. She said at the time, Shaikh too was in North Korea, working for the Red Cross. They became lovers and had a relationship for two-and-a- half years, intending to get married in 2012.
They had visited Sri Lanka twice in 2011. The first occasion was in February. On December 17 they came to Sri Lanka for the second time and stayed in the resort hotel in Tangalle.
On the night of December 24, there was a party in the hotel and she saw people dancing in the hall.
Around midnight, while they were in the hall, Shaikh and she had an argument. As Shaikh was not speaking to her she sat on the floor and cried, and then went towards the cabin where they stayed. The cabin was near the pool and when she went near the pool a person with curly hair came there and asked her why she was crying.
The witness who became scared and annoyed ran towards the cabin where some persons came and assaulted her and then threw her into the shallow end of the pool. The witness said she tried to come out from the pool by climbing the steps but once again a person who stood at the top with some others kicked her on her head, throwing her back into the pool.
Thereafter, with much effort she came out from the deep end of the pool and called out for Shaikh. Meanwhile she saw Shaikh lying on the floor and when she went to him she saw him unconscious, with cut injuries on his face.
The witness said she took Shaikh to her lap and she too fell unconscious. She regained consciousness at the Matara Hospital,
She said she found that her dress had been lowered to her waist and a T-shirt put on to cover her chest. Her underwear too, had been removed.
Thereafter she was transferred to the Karapitiya Hospital and until a doctor there told her that Shaikh was killed no one told her about the murder.
From there she was transferred to the Colombo National Hospital where she received treatment for here injuries and was still under medication. The witness identified the first accused O.A. Lahiru Kelum as the person who assaulted her at the poolside. (T. Farook Thajudeen)