ACC appeals against an acquitted officer

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday appealed to the Supreme Court against one of the officials who was acquitted by the Larger Bench of the High Court.

The larger bench on March 28 acquitted Major Sonam Tshering of the charges of embezzlement that the military court convicted him of in the DeSuung training fund embezzlement case.

The defendant administered two batches of DeSuung training camps, the 12th batch in June 2014 and 21 batch in September 2016. He was charged with embezzling Nu 1.152 million from the funds of the two training camps.

Prosecutors charged him of embezzling Nu 372,812 from the funds meant for the 12th batch. He admitted to adjusting Nu 85,000.

From the expenses for the 12th batch, the court established that he had adjusted Nu 25,000 with Budha Bir General Shop, Nu 30,000 with Druk Meat Shop and HD Tshongkhang, and Nu 30,000 from Dorji Bakery. He had in total adjusted Nu 85,000.

The defendant returned the leftover stock worth Nu 25,550 to the shops after the 12th batch and paid Nu 45,983 as two percent tax deducted at source (TDS).

The prosecutors charged him of embezzling Nu 779,160 in the 21st batch. The court found that he had adjusted Nu 153,880 from Lemo Tshongkhang, and Nu 10,000 from Dorji Bakery from this batch.

The defendant returned leftover stock worth Nu 10,500 to the shops after the 21st batch and paid Nu 45,983 as two percent as TDS. The court also considered two percent TDS of Nu 68,543 for the 21st batch.

The court also made deductions considering the military training centre commandant’s letter to ACC on the details of expenditure of restricted items and soelra given during such trainings. The court calculated Nu 85,480 as expenses for such purposes in the 12th batch. In the 21st batch, the court considered Nu 54,180 for same purposes. The defendant had spent, for the two training programmes, a combined amount of Nu 139,660 excluding the expenditure on restricted items and TDS.

The court ruled that the defendant had not embezzled.

However, an ACC official said that the court erred in its judgment.

The official said the defendant had spent an addition of more than Nu 70,000 from his own pocket in the 21st batch and that the court allowed deducting the same amount from the  embezzled amount in the other batch. “This is wrong in principle,” the official said. 

Tshering Palden

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