Seven suspects arrested for aiding Rishad evade arrest

Seven suspects have been arrested for aiding and abetting MP Rishad Bathiudeen to evade arrest, stated the Police Media Spokesman.

Reportedly, a lady doctor is also among the individuals arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The arrestees are to be produced before the Fort Magistrate’s Court this evening (19).

Earlier today, the owner of the house where the parliamentarian had been staying was also taken into custody.

MP Bathiudeen was arrested by CID officers at a housing complex located at Ebenezer Place in Dehiwala this morning.

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.