Riyadh Bathiudeen who was arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday bombing and detained for 168 days was released due to lack of evidence against him, Director of Police Media Division Jaliya Senaratne said.
He said that he was arrested based on a reasonable suspicion regarding the Easter Sunday attacks and that the investigation would confirm or disprove that suspicion and accordingly the suspicion against Riyadh Bathiudeen was refuted.
Riyadh, a brother of former minister Rishard Bathiudeen, was arrested by the CID on 14th April in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks.
Calling a special press conference on 15th April, the day after Riyadh’s arrest, Jaliya Senaratne stated that Riyadh Bathiudeen had direct contact with a bomber and had held discussions at a hotel.
Jaliya Senaratne said,
“He was arrested and held in custody for about 5 months while the investigations were done on this Easter Sunday attack. He has been released because further evidence was not available to carry out further investigations on the allegations made against him. A person is arrested on reasonable doubt. He was arrested accordingly over suspicions arising of his involvement in the attacks.
“The investigations are to confirm or refute that suspicion. Based on the outcome of the investigations carried out, the suspect has been released. There is not enough evidence to prosecute. Investigations are in the final stage and we will see if anything of importance is revealed. A suspect cannot be detained without evidence. There is no political interference, investigations are carried out independently in accordance with the legal provisions. Suspects will be prosecuted if the allegations are proved by the investigations.”
However, Jaliya Senaratne said in his press conference on 15th April,
“Mohomad Riyadh Bathiudeen has been in direct contact with one of the bombers, and it has been revealed that he had a discussion with one of the bombers at a public hotel. It has been revealed that he has held positions in charities and companies with the bombers and has invested in them. He has also donated lands to those organizations.”
The Police Media Division does not know that Riyadh had been released for two days
The Police Media Division and its Director Jaliya Senaratne reiterated on the 30th September and 1st of this month that they were not aware of the release of Riyadh Bathiudeen.
There have been news reports since the 30th September that Riyadh has been released and in several inquiries made with the Police Media Division, their only statement was “We are not aware of his release. We are not told either. It’s hard to get information from the CID.”
When Senaratne was asked on two occasions on 30th September about the matter he said that he had not received information of such release so far.
They issued an official statement on 2nd October, two days after Riyadh’s release.
MP Rishard Bathiudeen had posted on facebook that his brother had been released since he was innocent.
When asked by the Police Media Division about this statement by the MP, they said that no information could be obtained regarding the release of Rishard Bathiudeen’s brother and that CID would not provide them with information.