Nima Tshering, the accused in the Melbourne case for the illegal filming of three Bhutanese women while bathing, has accused Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay of having political motives in naming him before a ‘Meet the Press’ session on 3rd February.
Responding on The Bhutanese Facebook page where the website link to the story was given, Nima Tshering said, “Although the sitting PM, our PM is prejudging the case. The PM in a ‘meet the press’ is taking advantage of our personal tragedies for political mileage when we are going through so much personal pain and a very stressful time for everyone affected including the families.”
“With all due respect, I am so sorry but I found this statement of PM in The Bhutanese newspaper childish, immature and prejudging. Something not expected from any country’s leader,” said Nima Tshering.
During the monthly meet the press session a reporter from The Journalist paper asked a question to the government on the government’s update on the Melbourne case.
In response the Foreign Minister said that they have been provided with limited information from the Melbourne court but they know the accused has been charge on three counts, and the case is now with the court. The final hearing he said at the time is on the 9th of February 2017.
The Prime Minister then said that such cases give a negative image to the country while the Kings have worked hard to build a positive image for the country.
The PM said that if it happened in Bhutan, it would have been outrageous. He had said “it is absolutely unacceptable and not the way we treat our women”. He said that the fact that it has happened abroad makes it all the more worse and is a matter of shame for Bhutan.
At the time Lyonchhen said, “Even without prejudicing the judgment, and from the information received so far on the case, it was unexpected of a person like Nima Tshering who’d had a distinguished career, projected himself as a social worker, and who was also a political candidate for the Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa.”
Meanwhile, the PM denied any political motive in naming Nima Tshering but said that he had been genuinely meant what he said about the Melbourne case. The PM said that he was being accused of political motives only because Nima Tshering is a DNT candidate which is a well known fact.
The PM instead asked why most of the media houses were so timid by not naming the main accused in such a case even after he as the PM had named him at meet the press.
Nima Tshering in his reply on The Bhutanese Facebook page also thanked everyone for teaching him tolerance. He said he chose silence giving two reasons. The first he said was in respecting the public. Here he said, “It’s only fair, in my conscience that I remain silent and listen when you all are speaking as my late mother used to say my voice will only become noise if I speak when the crowd is speaking and that I would miss to learn from the wisdom of the crowd.”
The next reason he gave for his silence was on respecting the due process of law. Here he said, “In life, when we are accused, we must understand and be prepared to tolerate that its human nature that people are quick to prejudge you. But least we could do is to respect the due process of law to take its course so that justice is served fairly for all parties involved, as the truth in life is always in the middle, and the due process of law is in the middle as a weighing balance.”
He claimed that the whole incident had made him more Buddhist than ever.
The Melbourne case ever since it emerged in the mainstream media generated much national discussion especially among many women who were disturbed by the case. The meet the press was the second time the Prime Minister was asked about the case by the media. The previous question was asked by a journalist from Kuensel in a separate session with the PM more than a month ago.
The incident took place on 2nd November 2016 when a Bhutanese woman, who was taking a shower, found the accused person’s cell phone on video recording mode inside the pocket of his pants that was hanging in the bathroom. The victim then told her other housemate about the incident and after properly scanning through his phone; they found two more videos in the accused person’s phone trash box of the other women housemates showering. The crime was reported on the 3rd November 2016 to the Victoria police in Melbourne.
Update: Nima Tshering was convicted by a court in Melbourne for the case and was asked to pay 2,119 Australian dollars.