Update: The former gup and royal advisory councillor Chang Ugyen’s defence lawyer asked the High Court’s Bench I to quash the lower court’s two-and-a-half-year-sentence for allegations remaining not ‘proven beyond reasonable doubt’.

Most of the defence lawyer Ugyen Dorji’s rebuttal against the submissions of the Office of the Attorney General representative appeal charges hinged on the lack of concrete evidence to prove the charges in the lower court.

“When the OAG accused that my client increased his land holding in Omkha and Lubding, they could not prove that it was done by him,” Ugyen Dorji said.

He said that since the allegations were not proven beyond reasonable doubt, his client should not even bear the sentence that the district court handed down.

Ugyen Dorji said that the OAG’s submissions were not related to the principles of law and that their motive was to make his client be imprisoned at any cost.

The representative also said that OAG’s prosecution of his client was not in the interest of justice but for the sake of few individuals’ interests.

OAG representative appealed to the High Court arguing Thimphu district court’s verdict on the basis of the laws applied in the judgment of the case on July 14.

The prosecutor’s submissions were ‘based on the question of laws’ as the government, he said, was aggrieved by the decision of the trial court’s compoundable sentence of less than three years.

He said that although OAG charged Chang Ugyen under provisions of Thrimzhung Chenmo as the crime was committed in 1987, the court should have applied the Penal Code of Bhutan provisions in issuing the sentence.

The OAG had charged that Chang Ugyen, manipulated his thram and increased his land holding in Omkha by three acres to 3.02 acres, and registered seven acres in Lubding, both in Thimphu thromde during his tenure as a gup from 1987 to 1989.

By Tshering Palden