Denver Newsroom, Apr 28, 2021 / 14:00 pm
Two years after bombings in Sri Lanka killed hundreds at several churches and hotels on Easter, police on Saturday arrested a former cabinet minister and his brother for alleged links to the bombings. Their attorney claimed the arrests were politically motivated.
Rishad Bathiudeen, who leads an opposition party in the Sri Lankan Parliament and formerly served in the cabinet, and his brother Reyaj were arrested in Colombo April 24 for allegedly “aiding and abetting the suicide bombers who committed the Easter Sunday carnage,” police spokesman Ajith Rohana said, according to the Associated Press. The brothers were not yet officially charged, but Rohana said there was direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, and “scientific” evidence for their involvement in the attacks.
“They were arrested after the scrutiny of bank accounts, check transactions and communication lines,” Rohana said, reported by the Indian newspaper The Hindu.
On April 21, 2019, nine suicide bombers targeted two Catholic churches, a Protestant church, four hotels, and a housing complex almost simultaneously. The church bombings occured in the middle of Easter Sunday services. The bombings killed more than 260 people and injured more than 500.