Trial of Danushka Gunathilaka hit by delay

Trial of rape-accused Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka hit by delay

by Staff Writer 04-05-2023 | 12:30 PM

Sri Lankan cricketer Danushka Gunathilaka will push NSW's public prosecutor to pay legal costs after being made to wait another two weeks to submit a plea for rape charges.

The 32-year-old is facing four counts of sexual intercourse without consent while in Sydney for the T20 World Cup. After matching on Tinder, meeting up for a date and heading back to her home in Sydney's eastern suburbs, the complainant alleges the cricketer refused to wear a condom and choked her three times.

A police fact sheet filed with the court said the woman "was fearing for her life and could not get away from the accused" during the November 2022 incident.

The prosecution successfully applied for the adjournment, which will take the hearing beyond the statutory six-month requirement for charge certification, at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.

Gunathilaka's lawyer Alen Sahinovic opposed the delay, arguing his client was being subjected to undue hardship as a foreign citizen with strict bail conditions and limited familial and social support.

Sahinovic will apply for the Director of Public Prosecutions to pay legal costs at the next hearing.

Gunathilaka travelled to Australia with Sri Lanka's T20 World Cup team last year but only played in their first game before being ruled out of the competition with a hamstring tear.

He was arrested in the early hours of November 6 at Sydney's Hyatt Regency Hotel, shortly before he was scheduled to board a flight home with the rest of the team after they bowed out of the tournament.

Gunathilaka remains on bail ahead of a committal hearing at Downing Centre in Sydney on May 18.