English | Dzongkha Friday, July 30, 2021

Opening statement of the defendants accused of the commission of criminal conspiracy


Mar 17, 2021

The Thimphu District Court conducted the opening statement of the defendants accused of the commission of criminal conspiracy, mutiny, abettor of mutiny and other criminal offences today. Pema Gatshel Drangpon Yeshi Dorji and the representatives of the two defendants, Justice Kuenlay Tshering and former RBG Commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay, attended the hearing. However, defendant Khandu Wangmo could not attend the hearing due to health reasons.

The media were not allowed to attend the hearing. As per sources, Justice Kuenlay Tshering’s representative said the Justice is a victim who did not verify the orders he then received. Therefore the representative appealed to the court to dismiss the charges. Supreme Court Justice Kuenlay Tshering is charged with abetting mutiny, abuse of functions or position and obstruction of lawful authorities.

Sources said Pema Gatshel Drangpon Yeshi Dorji denied the charges claiming that he is also a victim and a complainant as well. He was accused of abetting mutiny and larceny by deception.

According to sources, the former RBG Commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay’s representative accepted the charges. However, it was said that he allegedly committed the crimes without verifying the orders he received. The former RBG Commandant is charged with mutiny, criminal misappropriation of property, aiding and abetting, official misconduct and harassment.

Meanwhile, the court will soon conduct the opening statement of defendant Khandu Wangmo.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged Khandu Wangmo with abetting Mutiny. The defendant allegedly colluded with Supreme Court Justice Kuenlay Tshering and Pema Gatshel Drangpon Yeshi Dorji to help former RBG Commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay in the mutiny to overthrow the army’s Chief Operations Officer Lieutenant General Batoo Tshering.

She is also charged with misappropriation of RBG funds of Nu 6.5 M in collusion with the former Commandant.

She is also liable for Larceny by Deception. The defendant in collusion with Drangpon Yeshi Dorji allegedly used fictitious documents to secure a loan of Nu 8 M from RICBL on the pretext of starting a business.

The OAG is also charging her with Illegal Possession of Firearm and Impersonation of Uniformed Personnel. The former Commandant issued her a pistol and a brigadier rank military uniform with full insignia.

The OAG is also charging her with Solicitation to Official Misconduct for knowingly using an unauthorised RBG vehicle and army personnel for her personal use. The former Commandant also allegedly helped her illegally obtain classified confidential UN tender documents for UN peacekeeping vehicles and other sensitive information from army headquarters in Lungtenphu. They were preparing an alleged criminal conspiracy of overthrowing the army’s COO.

She also tried to manipulate the Supreme Court Justice who is now in custody into recommending her for the Chevening scholarship run by the British government. She also sought help from the Justice to unlawfully direct a judge to defer the arrest warrant issued against her. She further asked the Justice to unlawfully obstruct the legitimate claim of USD 12,000 by a foreigner.

Other charges include Obstruction of Lawful Authorities. She knowingly obstructed the lawful execution of the impending arrest warrant by hiding former Chang Gup Kanjur in her house.

According to the OAG, she also colluded with the former Commandant to harass and threaten an army colonel, her ex-boyfriend and subjected him to emotional and mental distress in 2016.

Meanwhile, the court today denied their bail once again. The rebuttal hearing by the OAG will be conducted on the 25th of this month.

Tshering Zam/Sangay Chezom/Kinley Dem

Preliminary hearing of the criminal conspiracy case

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