Archbishop challenges Riyaj’s petition | Sunday Observer

Archbishop challenges Riyaj’s petition

18 October, 2020

A petition was filed on behalf of Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith in the Appeal Court on Friday challenging Riyaj Bathiudeen’s petition that sought to prevent his possible re-arrest in connection with the Easter Sunday bomb attacks.

Rev. Fr. Lawrence Ramanayake, Director Seth Sarana – Caritas, the social action arm of the Colombo Archdiocese, filed the petition seeking to intervene in the petition filed by petitioner Riyaj Bathiudeen, the brother of former minister and parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen.

Rev. Fr. Ramanayake in his intervenient petition filed through his attorneys, Sanjeewa Jayawardena PC and Rukshan Senadheera stated that Riyaj was attempting to avoid his possible arrest and investigations on his alleged involvement in the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

He stated that the petitioner was a prime suspect in the terrorist attacks, brutally and senselessly massacring 259 people, and leaving some 500 people maimed, disabled and injured. He stated, among other things, that Riyaj is alleged to have received several phone calls from one of the suicide bomb attackers and met one of them at a hotel in Colombo before the attacks.

The Archbishop had expressed his strongest disapproval and gravest concerns over the sudden release of the petitioner as an innocent person from the custody of the Criminal Investigation Department who was arrested five months ago for being in contact with a terrorist group, Rev. Fr. Ramanayake stated.

He stated that Riyaj, moving to obtain preferential treatment and immunity, in respect of the other suspects, in the face of compelling evidence on his culpability is not only an attempt to thwart the on-going investigations, but also would amount to a grave breach of national security and sought to dismiss Riyaj’s petition.