By Kelum Bandara
The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said yesterday Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen committed an offence punishable under the Penal Code when he influenced Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake to release the suspects arrested in connection with the terror strikes on April 21.
Addressing a press conference, SLPP Chairman Professor G.L. Peiris said the Army Commander had been contacted by the minister thrice and if it were proven to be an offence, then he was punishable under the Penal Code as it amounted to political influence.
While questioning as to why the government did not try 89 suspects imprisoned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, Prof. Peiris said the government did not allow the Army to interrogate the suspects arrested.
“Besides, the report of the committee appointed to look into this attack has not been submitted yet. The government took as long as three weeks to ban the organisations responsible for the Easter Sunday carnage. Although the government requested the diplomatic community to relax their travel advisories, foreign countries witness for themselves how investigations into the incidents have been politicised,” he said.