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Defendants involved in De-Suung embezzlement case appeal to High Court

40 people, who were involved in embezzlement case in relation to De-Suung Training Programmes conducted by the Office of the De-Suung, have appealed to the Thimphu High Court following the verdict passed from the Army military court last December.

15 army officers, nine NCOs (Non-Commissioned Officer) and 16 shopkeepers were found guilty by the military court. They were charged for embezzlement, aiding and abiding, while others comprising shopkeepers were charged for solicitation. The army officials ranked from captains to lieutenant colonels and the defendants had embezzled amounts worth in millions though the correct figure is not revealed yet.

Sources from the High Court revealed that 40 individual cases have been lodged with them. The show cause hearing for the case was done on December 29, 2017 by the High Court.

One of the Drangpons from the High Court said, “As of now the appellants have not submitted any ground for appeal.”

The miscellaneous hearing of the case was conducted on December 22, 2017 by the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court, Drangpon Sangay Khandu, and the case was admitted accordingly.

A total of 15 cases, registered against the 40 people, were distributed among the three benches of the High Court – Bench I, Bench II and Bench III accordingly. Each bench has been assigned with five cases.

The scheduled hearing for cases in Bench I will begin on January 15, 2017, where two hearings will be conducted, and another two hearings on January 16, 2017 and January 24, 2017. In Bench II, the hearing dates are on January 24 and 25, 2017, while in Bench III, the hearing date is on January 19 with two hearings, and the next two hearings on January 22 and 23, 2017.

Officials from the High Court said since the case is still sub-judice, they are not in a position to reveal any further details until the judgment is being passed. They say they are still reviewing the case as of now and that the details of the cases are not known to them. Meanwhile, the defendants are on bail as of now.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu