Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Canterbury murder trial for Sri Lankans set for June

Murder victim Sameera Chandrasena. Photo / supplied
Murder victim Sameera Chandrasena. Photo / supplied

The murder trial for two Sri Lankans accused of killing a fellow countryman has been set down for next June.

Sameera Chandrasena, 28, was found dead at a fire-ravaged North Canterbury farmhouse earlier this year.

Mr Chandrasena, 28, was working as a dairy farmer in the quiet town of Oxford when his charred remains were found at his rented Domain Rd house on February 23.

A post mortem examination found he died as a result of assault injuries before the fire started, police say.

Thuvan Sawal, 23, and Viraj Alahakoon, 33, have been jointly charged with the murder of the popular, cricket-loving Mr Chandrasena, as well as arson.

A High Court trial will begin in Christchurch on June 24, and is expected to take six weeks.

Sawal and Alahakoon, both residents of St Albans, in Christchurch, remain in custody.


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