Hearing: In the opening statement of the case involving a police constable who was accused of attempted rape of a 20-year-old woman, lawyer Kinzang Wangchuk of Bhutan Law Service requested the court for minimal sentence on the grounds that the constable was mentally unsound at the time when he committed the crime.

While agreeing on the charges made by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG), Kinzang Wangchuk requested the court to render every possible help to his client if he is terminated from service.

Kinzang Wangchuk also requested the court to order re-examination of his client’s mental state as there were no details in the tests conducted at Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Referral Hospital (JDWNRH) that showed there was no case of mental instability.

Kinzang Wangchuk maintains that the constable was under stress during the time of committing the crime. He had to bear medical expenses for his sister, who is suffering from cancer.

“He is also the sole earner in the family and had done everything within his capacity to take care of the problems,” said Kinzang Wangchuk.

Kinzang Wangchuk said that his client has been a loyal and dedicated serviceman and never had adverse record in his last 11 years of service; even his close friends and supervisors were shocked when they learnt about the incident.

The accused stayed calm and quite the entire hearing.

Prosecutor said the medical report confirmed that there were no signs of intercourse, but marks were left on the victim’s neck and breast.

According to Penal Code of Bhutan’s section 178, the prosecutor submitted that the accused had not raped the victim, he be given half of the fourth degree felony, which is a minimum of three years and a maximum of five years term.

The incident happened on the evening of December 1, 2014 at Changzamtog, when the victim was returning from computer class.

Meanwhile, the constable has been granted bail for Nu 100,000. But the constable will have to attend all the hearings.

OAG will present its rebuttal tomorrow.

By Tashi Tenzin