The High Court’s Bench I yesterday asked both the defendants and RBA prosecutors to produce evidence during the evidence hearing on March 20 and 23.

The court has asked the defendants, Major Ugyen Nidup, Pelpon Sangay Dakpa and Colonel Kinley Dorji to produce evidence on how they adjusted the bill for restricted items, purchased items from other vendors than the authorised vendors because of non-availability of items, and produce other evidence to justify their statement submitted to the court that they did not embezzle the DeSuung fund.

The RBA prosecutors were asked to prove how the defendants embezzled the fund.

Major Ugyen Nidup was implicated for embezzling Nu 1,338,232.70.

In his rebuttal yesterday, he submitted that the total expenditure for the 22nd Desuung batch was miscalculated. “I had even submitted to the military court about the miscalculation of the figure but the court based the judgment only on the Anti-Corruption Commission’s (ACC) statement.”

He claimed that the charges were confusing since the amount he was charged for embezzlement wasn’t certain.

Major Ugyen Nidup served as the administrative officer for the 7th batch training that was conducted for a five weeks and the 22nd batch, which was for three weeks.

According to the military court judgment, the total expenditure for 7th batch was Nu 3.16M and Nu 2.79M for the 22nd batch.

However, Major Ugyen Nidup claimed that the total expenditure for the 22nd batch was about Nu 2.78M.

He also submitted that the judgment was based on the assumption given by the vendors who were interrogated under duress by ACC.

“The prosecutor had submitted that all statements were taken voluntarily from the shopkeepers and there was a recorded video but we’ve never seen the video,” he said. “In a statement given by a vendor, Thinley Jamtsho, the officer was reflected as Ugyen Lhendup and not even Ugyen Nidup but the charges were framed against me.”

He also claimed that ACC asked the vendors how Ugyen Nidup adjusted the bill and the vendors assumed the amount. “ACC interviewed a vendor called Ratu but I never met him nor did I buy anything from him.”

Pelpon Sangay Dakpa, who assisted Ugyen Nidup in the 7th batch, denied embezzling Nu 50,000 but claimed that he borrowed Nu 10,000 and Nu 2,000 on different occasions from a vendor Karna Bahadhur Kharka.

He claimed that his job was only to assist the officer and he didn’t deal with money. “I was also confused when I was first interrogated.”

However, RBA prosecutors submitted that Sangay Dakpa was interrogated on three different occasions and in his second statement, he submitted that he received some money from Karna Bahadur as his share although he doesn’t remember the amount.

Colonel Kinley Dorji who was convicted of embezzling Nu 315,069 will also have to produce evidence on March 26 to prove that he did not embezzle the amount.

Yangchen C Rinzin