The High Court’s bench II yesterday conducted the evidence hearing for Major Tshering Tobgay, who was convicted of embezzling about Nu 824,900 by the military court in Lungtengphug last year.
Tshering Tobgay admitted to adjusting only around Nu 140,000 when he served as the administrative officer for the five-week 15th batch DeSuung training.
“This amount included among others expenses on alcohol, and other restricted items served during the training programme, tax deducted at source, and cash prizes given to dancers, and staff.”
Major Tshering Tobgay said, “Nu 824,900 amount is based on assumptions of the shopkeepers when interrogated by the Anti-Corruption Commission officials, and did not include the complete expenses including the leftover stock returned to the shops.
He said that the ration balance returned to the shop worth Nu 50,817 after the training programme ended.
RBA prosecutors said that Major Tshering Tobgay had not submitted the bills adjusting the amount of returned stock.
Prosecutor Kinga Tenzin said that the defendant, in his submission to ACC, admitted to adjusting about Nu 100,000.
He said that ACC investigation showed that the defendant had adjusted Nu 414,260 from Karna Bdr Kharka’s shop, Nu 310,650 from Gajey Tshongkhang, and Nu 100,000 with Dorji Bakery. The investigation compared records kept separately by the shopkeepers and the store in-charge.
Major Tshering Tobgay said that the statements of the shopkeepers were based on their assumptions. He submitted that the vendors changed their statement before the lower court, as their statement to ACC was taken under duress.
He said that these shopkeepers dealt with officers involved each of the DeSuung training programmes. “It’d be difficult to recall which officer they were referring to and the amount of money,” he said.
He submitted a psychiatric report of Karna Bdr Kharka, one of the shopkeepers, claiming that he was not mentally sound.
He said Gajey Tshongkhang proprietor, Thinley Jamtsho, on two instances, had denied the handwriting on the bill.
The prosecutors said that the shopkeepers changed their statements in the lower court and asked the court to cross-examine them.
Major Tshering Tobgay said that the ACC investigation considered only 121 Desuups. “In reality, there were 182 diners every day including guest lecturers, officials for chadi, DeSuung officials, and official visitors,” he said.
He said that a comparative study was necessary to understand the actual expenditure of the programme.