Mar 15, Colombo: The court is awaiting the Government Analyst's report relating to the DNA evidence on the murder of the British tourist Khuram Shaikh and all arrangements have been made to commence proceedings upon receipt of the report, Sri Lanka's External Affairs Ministry said today in a statement.
Responding to the media interview given by the British MP for Rochdale Simon Danczuk, who recently visited Sri Lanka with the victim's brother Naseer Shaikh to inquire about the progress in the case against the suspects of Shaikh's murder, the Ministry said the government has made every endeavor to initiate the criminal proceedings.
A special prosecutor has been nominated by the Attorney General to conduct the prosecution under the guidance of the Additional Solicitor General who heads the Criminal Division of the Attorney General's Department.
Khuram Shaikh Zaman, 32, was killed and his companion, Victoria Alexandrovna of Russia was assaulted in a brawl during a party at a tourist hotel in Rekawa, Tangalle on Christmas Eve in 2011.
The main suspect, ruling party Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana and six others, who were arrested and remanded following the murder, were released on bail in November last year.
The Ministry said Criminal Investigations Department has concluded their investigations and submitted their report to the Attorney General's Department which is closely monitoring the progress of the Government Analyst on the case.
In order to expedite proceedings, the Attorney General has decided to forward a direct indictment to the High Court, without the non-summary inquiry, which is now possible pursuant to a law passed this year, the Ministry explained.
Following the visit the British MP had expressed his dissatisfaction over the lack of progress in the case. In media interviews MP Danczuk said he will take the matter up with the Queen and urge her to boycott the Commonwealth Summit in November.
He complained that senior Sri Lankan ministers had refused to meet him and they only got to meet with the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mohammed Hisbullah and the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, Kamalani de Silva.
The Ministry explained that during the MP's visit along with Mr. Naseer Shaik tthe Government facilitated meetings in spite of the short notice and the busy schedules of policy makers and senior officials to brief on the progress made in the case and to listen to the concerns of the delegation.
As the case is currently before Court and matter is subjudice, meetings with the visiting delegation could only be facilitated to that extent, the Ministry said.
The government has been criticized for its slow progress on the case and law enforcement authorities in Sri Lanka are accused of stalling the justice due to the involvement of a ruling party politician in the murder.