Two Lankans found guilty

Two Sri Lankans have been found guilty for murdering another Sri Lankan in New Zealand.

The four-week trial has been a gruesome affair, ending in guilty verdicts for the two Sri Lankan men today accused of killing their countryman, Sameera Madurangana Manikka Battelage, Fair Fax media reported .

The crime was fuelled by anger and jealousy and ┬áthe victim’s affair with a woman was behind it.

The jury presumably accepted the Crown’s assertion that the pair had a plan and an intention to commit murder, and then tried to hide the evidence at the crime scene by setting it alight with petrol, and burning Battelage’s body in the process.

Thuvan Prawesh Sawal, 24, and 35-year-old Mudiyanselage Viraj Wasantha Alahakoon, a jeweller, now face life terms at their sentencing in the High Court at Christchurch on September 6.

While the defence teams presented evidence of the men accusing each other of carrying out the murder and arson alone, the Crown said it was a joint enterprise.

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