Rishad urged me to release suspect - Former Army Commander | Daily News

Rishad urged me to release suspect - Former Army Commander

Former Army Commander retired General Mahesh Senanayake testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing the Easter Sunday attacks said that former minister Rishad Bathuideen had made three phone calls to release a suspect who arrested in connection with the Easter Sunday attacks.

He said the former minister had made telephone calls regarding a person named Isham Ahmed who was arrested in Dehiwala.

Former Army Commander Senanayake told this to the Commission connecting through Skype technology from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as he could not return to Sri Lanka due to the COVID-19 epidemic situation.

“Former Minister Bathuideen called and asked if anyone named Ahmed had been arrested. I said I couldn’t remember such a person. He called me back a few hours later and asked if I had found out about that boy. I replied I had more work to do than find out about that child. Then Rishad said that the boy was the son of a General Manager of his Ministry. At that point I did a search. The Director of Army Intelligence told me that Isham Ahmed had been arrested in Dehiwala. Rishad called me again. Even then I knew that the suspect was connected to a large network we were looking for. I told him to call me back in about a year and a half and that we would detain him and interrogate him, I had the power to do that,”he told the commission.

He further said that he felt that former minister Rishad Bathuideen had spoken to free the suspect at that time and that he would not do such a thing as a responsible official in the country.

The Commission further recorded the evidence from Mahesh Senanayake regarding the investigations and it was not disclosed to the media.