Just days after the verdict given on the murder case of British aid worker Khuram Shaikh, the Prisons Department has stated that UPFA strongman and former Chairman of Tangalle Pradeshiya Sabha, Sampath Chandrapushpa Vidhanapathirana – the main suspect found guilty of murdering the British aid worker and raping his fiancé – maybe able to walk out a free man in 12 ½ years instead of undergoing the full term of 20 years as per the judgment.
Local media reports that have quoted the Prisons Department states that according to the ranking system that is applicable to prisoners, an individual assigned a sentence of 20 years of rigorous imprisonment can reduce their sentence to 12 years and nine months on ‘good behaviour’.
Moreover, it has also been reported that a separate investigation has been launched into the actions of five officials attached to the Prisons Department, who had shielded the Vidanapathirana while escorting him back to the Prison from the Colombo magistrate courts after the verdict was given.
Prisons Commissioner C Pallegama had been quoted in media stating that the personnel had no authority to commit such an act and that the investigation will be on the matter. The investigation had been instructed following complaints by media personnel who were obstructed by the prisons officials in question who removed their headgear and using them as shield to cover the video cameras.