Release of Riyaj Bathiudeed by CID not justifiable: AG

Tuesday, 13 October 2020 01:40 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • De Livera orders renewal of investigations, demands fresh report in one month 
  • Says several avenues of investigation left unexplored 
  • Calls for investigations under Money Laundering Act

By Asiri Fernando

Attorney General (AG) Dappula De Livera yesterday stated that the decision by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) to release Riyaj Bathiudeen was not justifiable due to all avenues of investigation being incomplete, his spokesperson said in a statement.  

The AG’s comments came after he met with Senior Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Prasad Ranasinghe of the CID and several other investigating officers who were part of the team that investigated Riyaj Bathiudeen’s alleged links with the Easter Sunday bombers. 

The AG had expressed his displeasure at the manner in which the investigation was conducted, and directed the CID to conduct further investigations and submit a complete report in a month’s time, AG’s Coordinating Secretary State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said.

According to Jayaratne, based on the discussion held between the CID officers and the AG yesterday, De Livera is of the opinion that the early release of the suspect by former DIG Nuwan Wedasinghe and the director of the CID, has jeopardised further investigations which could have been carried out. 

The CID had concluded investigations into Riyaj Bathiudeen on 6 September and had requested the detention order which held the suspect to be terminated on 28 September. The suspect had been released on 30 September, 13 days before his detention order was due to expire, Jayaratne revealed. The AG had pointed out discrepancies in the manner in which the investigation was conducted, pointing out the CID’s failure to recover and investigate 12 out of the 16 mobile phones linked to the suspect. 

Riyaj Bathuideen was arrested by the CID on 14 April after it was alleged that he had received seven phone calls from Cinnamon Grand bomber Insaf Ahamed, Jayaratne stated. The CID had obtained two detention orders to hold the suspect for the duration of the inquiry. 

The discussion between the AG and the CID had also revealed that the CID failed to carry out investigations into the suspect’s finances and holdings under the Money Laundering Act. The AG had also pointed out that the CID had appointed an investigative officer who did not have experience or training necessary to investigate finances and assets under money laundering laws, Jayaratne said.  Further, she added, the CID had failed to investigate possible funding of terrorist activities with regard to the suspect. 


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