Live updates

Politician accused of killing Rochdale man goes missing in Sri Lanka

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter
Khuram Shaikh died on Christmas Day in 2011. Credit: ITV Granada

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Sri Lankan politician accused of killing a man from Rochdale.

Sampath Vidanapathiranage is charged, along with five men, of murdering aid worker Khuram Shaikh and sexually assaulting his Russian girlfriend while on holiday in the country in December 2011.

Sampath Vidanapathiranage outside court in Colomba in November Credit: Lankika

Vidanapathiranage, who has close ties with the Sri Lankan president, went missing on Thursday after failing to attend a court appearance ahead of the trial on March 26th.

Police are now hunting for the politician, who denies all the charges against him.

Trial of six men accused of killing Rochdale man in Sri Lanka adjourned until March 2014

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter
Khuram Shaikh was killed on Christmas Day 2011 Credit: ITV News

The trial in Sri Lanka of a local politician accused of murdering an aid worker from Sri Lanka has been adjourned until March 2014.

Sampath Chandra Pushpa and five others are charged with the murder of Khruam Shaikh at a hotel in Tangelle on Christmas Day 2011.

The men have once again been granted bail by the Colombo High Court based on the bail granted by the Tangalle Magistrate’s Court earlier.

The judge Kumudini Wickramasinghe issued notice 11 witnesses to appear in court on March 26th when the case is due to begin.

Advertisement

Foreign Office will continue to make representations 'at high level'

In a statement the Foreign Office said: ''Indictments have been finalised and sent to the court. Suspects will, according to the authorities, soon be summoned to the court at which point indictments will be served and proceedings will begin. ''

''The British Government regularly impress upon the Sri Lankan authorities the importance we and the family of Khuram Shaikh attach to swiftly bringing those responsible to justice. They are in no doubt as to the seriousness with which we view these terrible events, and have assured us of the same. As the crime was committed in Sri Lanka, the authorities in that country are responsible for investigating. We cannot interfere in their investigations, but we will continue to make representations at a high level on this appalling case including by myself and by our High Commissioner in Colombo.

– FCO spokesperson

'Mixed emotions' for family of Khuram Shaikh as six men are charged with murder

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter

Nasser Shaikh has told Granada Reports he has mixed emotions after six men were charged in Sri Lanka for his brother's murder.

Khuram Shaikh from Rochdale was killed while on holiday there in 2011.

Nasser says he hopes this will be the first real breakthrough after two years of waiting for justice.

Six charged over Rochdale aid worker death

Khuram Shaikh

Six men have been charged with the murder of a Rochdale man who was shot and stabbed on holiday in Sri Lanka two years ago.

Khuram Shaikh was attacked on Christmas Day in 2011. His girlfriend was beaten and raped.

Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk has accused the Sri Lankan authorities of a cover-up because of alleged links between one of the defendants and a local politician.

PM promises progress on Rochdale murder case

by Daniel Hewitt - Political Reporter

The Prime Minister David Cameron says he will put pressure on the Sri Lankan president over the unsolved murder of an aid worker from Rochdale.

Khuram Shaikh was stabbed and shot while on holiday in the country on Christmas Day, 2011.

WATCH: Prime Minister responding to question by Simon Danczuk MP at PMQ's today

Eight men were quickly arrested, including a close friend of the Sri Lankan president, but no trial date has been set and little progress has been made.

Responding to a question by Simon Danczuk MP in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron said he'll raise the Rochdale MP's fears of a cover-up when he meets within the head of the Sri Lankan government next month.

Advertisement

VIDEO: Rochdale man killed 'protecting his girlfriend from brutal attack'

A Rochdale man who was murdered while on holiday in Sri Lanka died trying to protect his partner from a group of local men who went on to brutally assault her, his family has been told.

Khuram Shaikh was shot and stabbed at a hotel in the beach resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day in 2011.

His family were originally told he was attacked breaking up a fight between a group of men in a hotel, including a prominent Sri Lankan politician.

Khuram's brother Nasir flew to the country last week to speak with police and politicians over fears of corruption and political cover up in the case.

Family fights for answers over brother's death

The brother of a Red Cross worker from Rochdale killed while on holiday in Sri Lanka is to fly to the country to find out why no-one has faced trial for his murder.

Khuram Shaikh was shot and stabbed on the beach resort of Tangelle on Christmas Day 2011.

But nearly 15 months on, the case has gone cold, and the family's MP fears a political cover up.

Advertisement

Today's top stories