High Court, Thimphu

Three defendants in Criminal Conspiracy case appeal to High Court

The three defendants, among the four who were involved in criminal conspiracy case, have appealed to the high court. Khandu Wangmo has appealed on 6 August, Supreme Court Justice Kuenlay Tshering had appealed on 1 August, while Drangpon Yeshey Dorji made the appeal on 5 August.

In the judgment passed by the Thimphu District Court on 23 July, Khandu Wangmo was convicted for 21 years (5 years for abbetor of mutiny, 5 years for larceny by deception, 5 years for criminal misappropriation of property, 3 years for illegal possession of firearms , 3 years for impersonation of uniformed personnel).

However, she was given a concurrent sentence of 9 years for those offences. For two counts of official misconduct (misuse of RBG duty car and personnel and illegally obtaining UN tender documents) and harassment, the court has convicted her to 18 months in prison. But she can pay Thrim-thue in lieu of imprisonment for those three offences.

The charges against Khandu Wangmo on deferring of arrest warrant from the family bench, Chevening scholarship, denial of fair trail to Ms. Sothy Toep (from whom she allegedly borrowed USD 12,000) and harboring Gup Kanjur had been dropped due to lack of evidence.

For defendant Supreme Court Justice Kuenlay Tshering, the court had sentenced him to 5 years in prison for abettor of mutiny. However, the court has dropped the three charges of official misconduct (deferring of Khandu Wangmo’s arrest warrant, Chevening scholarship and denial of fair trail to Ms. Sothy Toep) against him due to lack of evidences.

The court charged Drangpon Yeshey Dorji, the fourth defendant to 5 years in prison for abettor of mutiny and 3 years for larceny by deception (accomplice to Khandu Wangmo), taking total sentence to 8 years. However, the court had given him a concurrent sentence of 5 years.

 Meanwhile, as of yesterday evening or 6th August (last date of appeal was on 6 August), former RBG Commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay did not appeal to the higher court.

Counting all the charges against the second defendant, the former RBG Commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay, the imprisonment term comes to 18 years. He had the second highest (7) charges. For abettor of mutiny, he was convicted for 10 years, 5 years for criminal misappropriate of property, 18 months for illegal possession of firearms and 18 months for impersonation of uniformed personnel.

The court has given him a concurrent sentence for 10 years from 18 years of imprisonment. He can pay Thrim-thue in lieu of imprisonment for offences of two charges for official misconduct (2 years) and one charge of harassment (6 months).

There will be 2 hearings conducted within one week after their appeals by the defendants, to see if their grounds of appeal can be accepted by the High Court.

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