Oct 03, Colombo: Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith has expressed his concerns over the progress of the Criminal Investigation Department’s investigation into the Easter Sunday attacks following the release of a suspect arrested in connection with the attacks on 21 April 2019.
Riyaj Bathiudeen, the brother of former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, who was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the terrorist attack on Easter Sunday and held under detention orders, has been released.
The police stated that he was released due to lack of evidence to prove charges against him. Various parties have expressed their views in this regard.
Riyaj Bathiudeen was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the Easter Sunday attack on April 14 this year. The police stated that the suspect had a direct connection with a suicide bomber involved in the Easter attack and on a day close to April 21, Riyadh Bathiudeen had met with one of the suicide bombers at a reputed hotel.
Riyaj Bathiudeen has also been accused of setting up welfare societies and working with the bombers, holding official positions in those companies and of investing money in those companies.
However, five months later, Police say Riyaj Bathiudeen was released due to a lack of evidence to prove the charges against him.
Speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said he is disappointed over the release of Riyaj Bathiudeen without a trial.
“The victims of the Easter Sunday attacks are disappointed and saddened by the slow progress of the investigations and they are expecting that justice will be meted out to them,” he said.
The Archbishop said what police said before arresting several suspects contradicts what they say now when suspects are released and this raises concerns in the CID investigations.