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Red Cross worker's murder: DNA evidence delays trial

6 July 2013 02:51 am - 16     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Problems with DNA evidence have delayed the prosecution of suspects over the murder of a Red Cross worker in Sri Lanka in 2011, British officials said.

Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was shot and stabbed on Christmas Day 2011.

Eight people, including a Sri Lankan politician, were arrested and bailed in November. They all denied the charges.

The British High Commission in Colombo said the 18-month delay was "not a good message to tourists".

The Sri Lanka High Commission said the "Government Analyst's report relating to DNA evidence is awaited and all arrangements have been made to commence proceedings upon receipt of the same".

Robbie Bulloch, Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, said: "What we have been told is that they have been waiting for DNA evidence and that has been holding it up.

"Why that should take 18 months to process I don't know, but what we have done from the very beginning is urge the government to take this very seriously.
"It's a brutal attack, it's not a good message for a country which attracts very many British tourists each year."

Mr Shaikh, who graduated from Salford University, had been working in Gaza for the Red Cross, fitting prosthetics limbs.

He was shot and stabbed when he and his Russian girlfriend, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, were attacked on holiday in the resort of Tangalle.

In a statement, the Sri Lanka High Commission said the government of Sri Lanka "is committed to prosecute the persons responsible", with a "special prosecutor nominated by the Attorney-General to conduct the prosecution".

It confirmed the case had been transferred from Tangalle to Colombo Magistrates Court "to prevent the alleged intimidation of witnesses".

"These incidents, though extremely sad and unfortunate, have happened in many other tourist destinations in the past and can happen anywhere in the world," it said.

"This will by no means overshadow the warmth that is offered to tourists by our hospitable nation and its people".

Mr Shaikh had been trying to break up a fight in the hotel bar.

His brother, Nasir, said: "There's still witness accounts outstanding, DNA evidence outstanding, 18 months on this should have been completed. We need a trial date set".

The Sri Lankan government has said it strongly condemned the killing, but Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said he was "extremely disappointed" with their response.

He said: "They need to follow the rule of law and rise to the standards expected of Commonwealth countries. We need to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to ensure justice is done."

  Comments - 16

  • Porky Pig Saturday, 06 July 2013 03:12 AM

    Just forget it. Please note that this happened in a Banana Republic and not the Ceylon you left 60 years ago.

    Shehan Saturday, 06 July 2013 03:17 AM

    Why is sarath fonsekas party causing problems?

    Mancini Saturday, 06 July 2013 04:03 AM

    "Delay". Just like everything else....
    From our Airline to political reforms

    sarath Saturday, 06 July 2013 08:10 AM

    Justice delayed justice denied
    justice hurried justice buried

    CP Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:09 AM

    DNA is being delayed!!! will anybody believe? If accused intimidate witnesses cancel their bail and remand. Why 2 laws ?

    Rahmathullah M. H. Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:13 AM

    18 month is too long to prosecute the culprits. This shows someone with vested interest is delaying the prosecution.

    truealf Saturday, 06 July 2013 10:33 AM

    Its DELEYED.... because delete all the evident and witnesses.. All polititics....

    Manisha Saturday, 06 July 2013 11:58 AM

    So many excuses, all sounding very false. Sri Lanka is not developing if DNA takes so long. Strange that for murders involving arrogant politicians arrests and justice takes years.

    Cobra Saturday, 06 July 2013 12:10 PM

    A likely excuse. Konde banadapu cheennanta hondai!

    Gobbaya Saturday, 06 July 2013 01:01 PM

    Are you another sleep walker?.wake up!.

    Gobbaya Saturday, 06 July 2013 01:02 PM

    Keep your eye on the DNA evidence.they can change it.

    piss Saturday, 06 July 2013 01:29 PM

    I think BBS nit DNA is behind the delay as his name sounds like Muslim.

    truealf Saturday, 06 July 2013 02:12 PM

    ...Just delayed to hide the evidence...

    Richard Saturday, 06 July 2013 03:49 PM

    yes, and guess what 'Kunta Kinte' is its biggest banana.

    Chaminda Tilakumara Sunday, 07 July 2013 08:26 PM

    No ruling party politician has ever been convicted of anything, let alone murder. Therefore, we can forget the rule of law being upheld and this cold blooded murderer will get away with it. We will certainly see witnesses being harassed and made to give up giving evidence against or else will end up dead. Sadly the politicians are above the law in SL.

    Hong Kong John Monday, 08 July 2013 02:41 AM

    It takes a matter of hours, not days, weeks or months to produce a DNA match. Just let the culprits go, that is what has been planned all along anyway.

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