State Minister allegedly intervened to release six suspects

It was alleged before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) probing Easter Sunday attacks that a State Minister had intervened to release six suspects who were arrested in connection with the unrest in the Kuliyapitiya area last year on Police bail.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Prasanna Perera testifying before the PCoI said that the State Minister had intervented to settle the situation after nearly 2,000 people had gathered at the Hettipola Police station at the time of the incident.

The six suspects who were detained at the Hettipola Police Station at that time were about to be taken to the Bingiriya Police Station where investigations were being carried out, to obtain police bail. The rioters who were gathered at the Hettipola Police station had caused sn obstruction and the State Minister had intervened and the six suspects were transported to the Bingiriya police station using a private vehicle by him, ASP Prasanna Perera said.

Accordingly, the Commission inquired as to whether the suspects could be transported in a private vehicle instead of being transported in a police vehicle, ASP Prasanna Perera said that although it was not possible to do so, the decision was taken based on other issues that arose at that time. Meanwhile, Namal Kumara had also visited the Hettipola Police Station at the time of the incident and the OIC had informed him that he had discussed the matter with the OIC, the ASP said.

Meanwhile, it was revealed before the Commission yesterday that four suspects who were arrested on suspicion of damaging several shops in Kuliyapitiya on May 12 last year have been released on the same day without recorrding any statement, then Kuliyapitiya HQI Nadeera Sampath testified before the Commission.


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