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* Slain British tourist's girlfriend testifies at his murder trial in Sri Lanka
Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 11:09 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 26, Colombo: Victoria Alexandrovna of Russia,the girlfriend of British tourist Khuram Shaikh who was murdered in Tangalle in December 2011, identified the first suspect of the case, Lahiru Kelum alias Chaminda as the one who assaulted her at the Tangalle beach resort.

Ms. Alexandrovna said in Colombo High Court today that she had not identified the first suspect earlier due to fear and she could identify him now since she had been provided security by the Sri Lanka government.

Ms. Alexandrovna was escorted to the court by British High Commission officials amid heavy security.

Khuram Shaikh, 32, was killed and Alexandrovna was sexually assaulted in a brawl during a party at a tourist hotel in Rekawa, Tangalle on Christmas Eve in 2011.

The state has charged six persons including the main suspect former ruling party Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Sampath Chandra Pushpa Vidanapathirana.

Ms. Alexandrovna testified when the murder trial against the suspects is taken for hearing today before Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Walgama. The case will be heard continuously for three days starting today.

Colombo High Court on January 23 issued notice on Ms. Alexandrovna to appear before the court on March 26 to give evidence.

The main suspect in the case, Vidanapathirana was already in remand after his failed attempt to escape while released on bail after the initial arrest in 2012. The other five suspects were out on bail.

However, Judge Walgama ordered all six suspects to be kept remanded during the trial. The case will be heard again tomorrow.

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