OAG maintains charges on bribery and sand quality

Update: The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) appealed on the Haa district court’s dismissal of the charges of supplying inferior sand and bribery against the sand supplier, and the project engineer for taking bribe in the Lhakhang Karpo corruption case to the High Court yesterday.

The Haa court acquitted the 31 year-old contractor Tshewang Rinzin from two charges that the OAG had framed against him. However, he was asked to pay for the six truckloads of sand for which he could not produce token receipts that the project issued on depositing every truckload of sand at the construction site. Tshewang Rinzin was awarded the contract to supply sand to the Lhakhang Karpo project on June 17, 2011.

The court verdict stated that the proprietor of TNW Construction, Tshewang Rinzin had not bribed project manager Tashi Gyeltshen but borrowed from him.

Yesterday, OAG lawyer Ugyen Wangchuk maintained the charges that project engineer and the contractor solicited and received a bribe of Nu 100,000.

The contractor was charged for bribing Tashi Gyeltshen to accept inferior quality sand collected from the IMTRAT helipad area.  The money was deposited into the project engineer’s account through a self-cheque on August 27, 2012.

The project engineer, in the district court, claimed that Nu 100,000 was collected from Tshewang Rinzin and retained as security deposit in his personal account.

“If it was collected as security deposit against non-sieved sand, then why was it deposited in his personal account of the project engineer,” Ugyen Wangchuk said.

The OAG lawyer also said that their statements to Anti-Corruption Commission officials who investigated the case contradicted each other including the amount borrowed and returned.

“We would like the court to also consider these differences and seek redress,” he said.

The defendants said that they have nothing more to say than what they have submitted to the district court. However, the duo would submit a written rebuttal on August 10.

Tshering Palden

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