AG wants Khuram murder sentences enhanced

kazan20The Attorney General yesterday filed an appeal in the High Court stating that the sentences imposed on the convicts of British aid worker Khuram Sheikh’s murder were not sufficient.

While requesting to amend the punishments given to the convicts the AG also suggested that these convicts should be given death sentence or life imprisonment as they committed the murder using weapons as members of an unlawful assembly.

The petition also noted that the Judge had reiterated that fourth accused in the unlawful assembly had used a firearm and that in cases of unlawful assembly an offence committed by one applies to all in the group.

On July 18, four convicts including former Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana who were found guilty of killing British tourist Khuram Shaikh in December 2011 and  for raping and brutally assaulting his fiancée while holidaying at the tourist resort of Tangalle were sentenced by the High Court.

Consequently the four convicts O.A Lahiru Kalum, U. Saman Deshapriya, Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidanapathirana and W. Prageeth Chaturanga, were sentenced to 107 years rigorous imprisonment by Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama after a lengthily trial.

Two other accused M. Sarath alias Sahan, S. Prageeth Chaturanga, were acquitted from the case as the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against them beyond reasonable doubt.

Judge Rohini Walgama also ordered that the 107-year jail term be run concurrently within 20 years.

Later the first convict O.A.Lahiru Kelum in the Tangalle Resort British tourist murder case yesterday petitioned to the Court of Appeal against the Colombo High Court Judge’s verdict of sentencing him to twenty years rigorous imprisonment. (Manopriya Gunasekera)