24 Jun 2013

Jury selected in murder trial of Sri Lankan men

1:13 pm on 24 June 2013

A jury has been selected for the trial of two men charged with the murder of a Sri Lankan man in North Canterbury.

The body of Sameera Chandrasena, 28, was found at a fire-damaged property in Oxford on 23 February this year.

Police allege he was assaulted and killed before the house on Dominion Road in Oxford was set alight.

Thuvan Prawesh Sawal and Viraj Alahakoon, who are also Sri Lankan, have pleaded not guilty to joint charges of murder and arson at the High Court in Christchurch.

Both men need interpreters.

The jury of seven women and five men has been stood down for the day so Justice Whata and counsel can clarify several legal matters.