Lanka writes to Saudi over beheading of fourth accused
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has written to the Saudi Arabian Foreign
Ministry over the execution of fourth accused Shamila Sangeeth Kumara,
whose sentence was to be just 15 years in prison, not death.
Foreign Ministry sources said that according to the correspondence
received by the Sri Lankan mission in Saudi Arabia earlier, Sangeeth
Kumara was to be sentenced for 15 years on charges of robbery.
Instead he was beheaded along with the three others, Victor Corea,
Ranjith Silva and Sanath Pushpakumara. Expressing concern, the
Government has asked for reasons for changing his first sentence.
These workers were convicted in a Saudi Arabian court for an armed
robbery committed in October 2004. Their deaths sparked reactions from
the international human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, which
called on the Saudi authorities to abolish the death sentence.
The court also ruled that the bodies of the four workers be exposed
for public view as an example for others.
The Foreign Ministry is also tapping diplomatic channels to get the
bodies of the executed workers down to be handed over to their bereaved
Saudi legal authorities are not reported to have released bodies of
persons executed for crimes in the past, the sources said.