Staff reporter

The High Court (HC) yesterday sentenced Goshing gup, Sangay Lethro, to eight years in prison for embezzlement of public funds. 

The gup was convicted of embezzling public funds by inflating hiring charges and fuel procurement receipts in gewog connectivity road construction.

The court also ordered him to restitute about Nu 2.9 million (M).  

Zhemgang dzongkhag court forwarded the case to HC in February this year, after the drangpon, who was with the Office of the Attorney General before, declared conflict of interest, as he prosecuted the case.

Panbang drungkhag court in 2019 sentenced the gup to 10 years and three months in prison.

The drungkhag court had sentenced the gup on ten counts including embezzlement, solicitation, fraudulent claim, and other official misconduct. The drungkhag court also ordered him to restitute about Nu 3M.

It was learnt that Sangay Lethro would appeal to the Supreme Court, 

Meanwhile, the court also sentenced a contractor, who was former Nangkhor gup, to two years in prison for his involvement in the embezzlement of public funds. The contractor, Rinchen Drakpa, can pay in lieu of his prison term. 

The HC acquitted two employees of Bhutan Oil Corporation in Gelephu, who were alleged to have colluded and inflated the bills with the gup.

The Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the issue in 2016 following a complaint alleging the gup of embezzling the fund meant for construction of gewog connectivity road in 2011 and 2012.