Three defendants in criminal conspiracy case request for charges to be dismissed

Bail denied for all 4 accused

An opening statement from the defendants in the criminal conspiracy case -Justice Kuenlay Tshering, Drangpon Yeshi Dorji and RBG’s former commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgay was held on 17 March, whereby all the three defendants requested the district court to dismiss the charges against them, giving their own reasons.

However, defendant Khandu Wangmo did not come for the opening statement on medical ground. A source said that they cross checked with police to see if what she claimed was true but a medical report shows that she was really not well.

She will be called for the opening statement after her recovery, before 25 March, which is the next hearing where the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will give their rebuttal.

The defendant Drangpon Yeshi Dorji during the opening statement claimed that he is the complainant and a victim, and therefore, he has requested the district court to dismiss the charges against him.

Drangpon Yeshi Dorji filed a Crime Information Report (CIR) of impersonation of uniformed personnel and deceptive practice against Khandu Wangmo and former Brigadier Thinley Tobgay on 9 July 2020 to the crime branch of RBP.

OAG has booked two charges against him, as abettor of mutiny and larceny by deception.

Likewise, defendant Kuenlay Tshering also requested the court to dismiss the charges against him as he stated that he is a victim in the case. He claimed that whatever he did was because he was misled into believing in the wrong information given to him.

Defendant Justice Kuenley Tshering of the Supreme Court was charged with three charges, abettor of mutiny, commission amounting to abuse of functions and obstruction of lawful authorities

Though the defendant Thinley Tobgay accepted his doing before the court, however, he claimed that he also did these acts as he was misled with wrong information.

He said that he had issued the Glock 19 pistol and brigadier-rank military SD suit with full insignia to the defendant Khandu Wangmo initially, but had later taken them back.

No one is allowed to issue such items unless they receive an order in written, a source said.

OAG has booked 7 charges (including 4 counts) against him, with mutiny, criminal misappropriate of property, two counts under aiding and abetting, two counts under official misconduct and harassment.

As per the OAG, Col. Karma Lodey Samphel of RBA has also lodged a written complaint against Khandu Wangmo and Thinley Tobgay to RBP on 20 October 2020 for harassing him for a period of seven months from April 2016 to October 2016.

Meanwhile, Drangpon Yeshi Dorji is fighting the case by himself before the court, while the other two defendants, Thinley Tobgay and Justice Kuenlay Tshering, have sent their representatives during the opening statement.

The court denied their request for bail. The court also did not allow reporters into the courtroom during the hearing (opening statement).

A source said it is not a ‘closed door hearing’ as understood by the people, adding that had it been a closed door hearing, no one would be allowed in the surrounding, and the judge will not be allowed to record their statements. The court is recording the court proceedings to pass a judgment as part of a normal judicial process. 

The next hearing will be held on 25 March 2021.

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