I feared for my life: Victoria Alexandrona
Mar 28, 2014

During the second day of cross examination yesterday, murdered British aid worker Khuram Shaikh’s girlfriend requested Court to consider her frame of mind when giving her statement in the immediate aftermath of the killing. Victoria Alexandrona said this when the defence counsel was repeatedly referring to her previous statement.

She said she was giving her evidence under oath and as such whatever she was saying was nothing but the truth.

The trial into the killing of British tourist Khuram Shaikh at a Tangalle resort was taken up before High Court Judge Rohini Walgama.

Ms. Alexandrona told Court that though she now identified the suspect, who assaulted her at the poolside, she had not pointed him out at the identification parade out of fear for her life. Responding to questions asked by the counsel for the third accused, former Tangalle PS Chairman Kalinga Indratissa, she said she was gang raped by those who killed her boyfriend Khuram and that there were bruises on her body.

Ms. Alexandrona said she did not fear for her life now because she had been provided with security. Further questioned by the counsel the witness said that she made the statement to police, Magistrate and to the JMO in a state of fear and anxiety. She said at that time what she wanted was to leave to Russia as early as possible. She said that she assumed there was no security for her in Sri Lanka and her life was in danger. However, she contended that she accept the fact that Khuram Shaik was killed and she was raped by the accused.The witness also asserted that some of the things that were not found in her statement to police and to the Magistrate during autopsy would have been omitted by oversight.

However, witness Alexandrona said that the statement she made to the police was recorded in English and it was never read over to her. She said the statement was made by her to the police from the hospital bed and blind folded. Therefore, she did not see who recorded the statements. She said the statements were recorded while she was in hospital after a surgery done to her. The Counsel for 1st and 3rd accused marked several contradictory findings in the statements of the witness. Cross examining concluded yesterday and further hearing was put off for March 31.

Counsel for the 2nd and 6th accused did not cross examined the witness.

The special prosecutor appointed by the Attorney General declined to cross examine the witness who was earlier in the day questioned by defence counsel separately. In normal circumstances the prosecution re-examines a witness following cross examination by the defence in order to clear any doubts that may have arisen during the cross examination. However, the prosecution refused to re-examine her effectively concluding the evidence of the prosecutions main witness in the trial.

In this case the accused O.A Lahiru Kalum, U.Saman Deshapriya, The Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman Sampath Chandra Gupta Vidanapathirana, W. Prageeth Chaturanga, M. Sarath alias Sahan, and S. Prageeth Chaturanga. The accused were further remanded till Monday.

Counsel Jayantha Weerasinghe PC, Kalinga Indatissa PC Nalinda Indatissa, U. R. De Silva, Sampath Hewapathirana and Heleni C. De Silva defended the accused.

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka

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