Rishad Bathiudeen arrested in Dehiwela early this morning

FILE PHOTO – Rishad Bathiudeen/Facebook

ECONOMYNEXT –Police investigators arrested former Minister Rishad Bathiudeen at an apartment in Dehiwela in the early hours of this morning, Monday October 19, Police and one of his lawyers told EconomyNext.

Attorney Gowry Thavarasa said he was arrested in connection with the alleged misuse of government property.

The Attorney General last week instructed police to arrest Bathiudeen in connection with the alleged misuse of government funds to transport voters from Puttalam to Mannar during last year’s Presidential elections.

The hunt for the high-profile politician had been a talking point in the media for the past few days.

The Attorney General Dappula de Livera upbraided the Criminal Investigation Department over Police actions over the failure to arrest former Bathiudeen, the AG’s Department said.

A statement released by the de Livera’s Coordinating Officer Nishara Jayaratna said that the AG had summoned the Deputy Inspector General of Police CID Prasad Ranasinghe to his office last week and spoken to him about the arrest of Bathiudeen.

The statement said that the AG had advised DIG Ranasinghe to uphold the Rule of Law and act in a manner that “builds the confidence that the general public has in the Police not lose their confidence.”

Bathiudeen’s lawyers have filed a writ petition before the Court of Appeal to prevent his arrest after the Police said they have deployed six teams to look for him.

Thavarasa said the stay order had not been given as it was not supported. Police arrested the politician before the order was given.

Last Tuesday Police nabbed his accountant and police bodyguard the Police spokesman said.

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Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police Ajith Rohana told reporters this afternoon that Alagaratnam Manoranjan, the accountant who allegedly organized the 222 buses to transport the voters at state expense had been arrested.

The Police officer who was assigned for Bathiudeen’s security is also in custody. (Colombo, October 19, 2020)
Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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