DNA tests obtained from the productions collected from the crime scene in Tangalle have matched with the blood samples of former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana, a key accused in the Khuram Sheik murder case.
Prof. Nilmini C. Gunawardena of the Molecular Biology Unit of the Kelaniya University’s Medical Faculty made this declaration in court in her evidence in the trial of British national Khuram Sheik.
The murder trial was taken up before High Court Judge Rohini Walgama on Thursday.
Prof. Gunawardena who submitted a detailed report to court yesterday further elucidated the contents in her report while giving evidence.
She explained to the Judge how a DNA test was carried out to determine the DNA patterns of samples provided. She said a DNA test was done to diagnose a disease, to identify a suspect or to determine the parentage of a child.
However she said that the samples on three productions were not used in the process as they were unable to make use of them in the test. She said only cells with a nuclear were used in DNA tests and cells without nuclear cannot be used. She also said that the cells of while blood corpuscles were used in DNA tests.
Prof. Gunawardena further said she received the productions on February 9 2012 and had a questionnaire with the productions that were sent to her.
She said she opened the productions for examination in the presence of the officer who brought them on February 13, 2012.
On March 6, 2012 eight suspects were produced before her to take blood samples to carry out the DNA tests. She said the blood samples of the victim Khuram Sheik tallied with the samples in some of the productions. The blood samples of Saman Deshapriya and Prageeth Chaturanga tallied with the samples in the productions.
Professor Gunawardena on cross examined the first accused Obadage Lahiru Kelum’s Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe PC said that the blood sample did not tally with the blood samples of Lahiru Kelum.
The accused Obadage Lahiru Kelum, Saman Deshapriya, former Tangalle PS Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana, Prageeth Chaturanga, M. Sarath alias Sahan, and S. Prageeth Chaturanga were indicted by the Attorney General for causing the death of Khuram Sheik and committing gang rape on his girl friend in Tangalle on the Christmas Eve in 2011.(FT)