Seven suspects arrested for assisting Rishad evade arrest
October 19, 2020 02:56 pm
Seven suspects have been arrested for aiding and abetting MP Rishad Bathiudeen to evade arrest, stated the Police Media Spokesman.
The suspects arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) are to be produced before the Fort Magistrate’s Court this evening (19), stated DIG Ajith Rohana speaking at a press conference held earlier today.
He further said that during the arrest of Bathiudeen, it was revealed that there was a group of people who provide protection to persons wanted by the police.
The DIG said that 02 among the 07 arrestees had been arrested on October 17 at the Wellampitiya area. Upon interrogation, it has been revealed that the parliamentarian had stayed at a house in Kohuwala, Kalubowila, for a period of time before being moved to a house in Dehiwala on October 15.
Among the arrestee are a lady doctor, her husband, a foreign employment agent who escorted the MP from the first house to the second, and the owner of the Dehiwala house where the parliamentarian was arrested at.
The vehicle used to escort the parliamentarian has also been taken into the custody of the CID, according to the Police Spokesman.
MP Bathiudeen was arrested by CID officers at a housing complex located at Ebenezer Place in Dehiwala this morning (19).
Former Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen, the director of the project Mohamed Yaseen Samsudeen and the project accountant Alagarathnam Manoranjan are accused of violating Article 82(1) of Presidential Elections Act, No. 15 of 1981 by misappropriating public funds to the tune of Rs. 9.5 million.
They have allegedly misused 222 buses belonging to the state-owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) for transporting IDPs from Puttalam to polling stations in Silavathurai, Mannar during the 2019 Presidential Election.
The CID, upon the direction of the Attorney General, had sought the Colombo Fort Magistrate to issue a warrant to arrest MP Rishad Bathiudeen and the other two suspects on charges of criminal misappropriation of public funds and violation of election laws.
However, the magistrate ruled that the Police can proceed to arrest the suspects without a warrant. Thereby, Attorney General Dappula de Livera directed the Police to arrest the three suspects according to the law.
On October 14, the Fort Magistrate issued a travel ban on the parliamentarian upon a request by the CID.
Meanwhile, MP Bathiudeen had filed a writ application through a lawyer seeking an order from the Court of Appeal to prevent his arrest.
The CID had deployed several teams to arrest the former minister, however, they were unable to locate and apprehend him until today.
Police Spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana said that the CID launched several special operations to apprehend the former minister and as a result of these operations he was arrested in the Dehiwala area in the early hours of today.
Rishad Bathiudeen has currently been escorted to the CID and will be produced before a court following investigations, he said.
The Criminal Investigations Department is carrying out further investigations.