Re-arrest Riyaj Bathiudeen | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Over 100 Govt MPs make written request to President

Re-arrest Riyaj Bathiudeen

11 October, 2020

Over 100 Government MPs have made a written request to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to re-arrest and conduct a fresh probe into the allegations levelled against former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen’s brother Riyaj Bathiudeen who was arrested on suspicion of involvement in last year’s terrorist attack on Easter Sunday. A letter signed by more than two-thirds of Government lawmakers claiming that Riyaj Bathiudeen was released by the CID without following proper legal procedure was handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa by Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage at Temple Trees on Friday (October 9). The Government MPs in their letter have stated that despite strong evidence, Riyaj Bathiudeen was released by the CID on September 30 without presenting him in court.

Riyaj Bathiudeen was arrested by the CID on suspicion of aiding and abetting the terrorists who carried out the Easter Sunday attacks.

Over 100 SLPP parliamentarians have called on the President and the Prime Minister to conduct a full investigation on this act by the CID and to re-arrest Riyaj Bathiudeen and enforce the law in a proper manner.

The letter, signed by 100 Government MPs pointed out that when Riyaj Bathiudeen was arrested the former Police Spokesman claimed that there was enough evidence that Bathiudeen had links with one of the suicide bombers.

“The former Police Spokesman clearly said that it had been found that Bathiudeen had met that suicide bomber at a popular hotel a few days before the terror attack.”

Former Army Commander General Mahesh Senanayaka told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI), probing the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attack that the military intelligence said that Bathiudeen had helped Zahran Hashim to flee to India in 2018. In such a backdrop, the CID has released him even without producing him before court on September 30. This arbitrary conduct of the CID should be investigated thoroughly,” the letter stated.

State Minister of Internal Security Chamal Rajapaksa told Parliament that Riyaj Bathiudeen was released because the CID confirmed that he had no direct links to terrorism.

However, Minister Rajapaksa said that releasing Riyaj Bathiudeen from detention of the police probing the Easter Sunday carnage did not mean that the suspect was vindicated from all charges. The Minister said that the suspect would be taken into custody if new evidence linked to him surfaced.