Thinley Namgay

Penjore submitted the third and final rebuttal against police in the ongoing defamation case at Thimphu dzongkhag Court’s Criminal Bench II on January 10.

This is the last rebuttal from both sides. Next will be an evidence-based hearing.

Police submitted their third rebuttal on January 3.

On January 3, police said that Penjore’s post wasn’t for the public, and it had defamed the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and the Bhutan National Bank Limited (BNBL) officials. The police also said that Penjore had to compensate the OAG.

On January 10,  Penjore reiterated that his Facebook post on May 4 of last year was based on a BBS news story broadcast on the same day, which reported that 12 staff were recruited at BNBL using fake documents.

The staff members in question were forced to resign and paid one-year thrimthue.

Penjore claimed that his Facebook post was meant for the public. Penjore accused the OAG of not charging the BNBL officials in question despite their official misconduct during recruitment of the 12 staff members.

Penjore reiterated that both the OAG and the BNBL should be held accountable. He also demanded compensation for his 16-day detention by the police following the alleged arbitrary arrest.

Penjore said that the Royal Audit Authority discovered the case during auditing. After that, the case was forwarded to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), and the ACC conducted an investigation.

After the ACC’s investigation, the case was received by the police and reported to the OAG.

“In the police report, it was mentioned that the 12 staff members who submitted fake documents should be punished. It was also cited that BNBL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and officials involved in this illegal act had to be held accountable for their official misconduct,” Penjore said.

Penjore said the OAG alleged wrongdoing by the 12 staff members but there were no allegations against BNBL’s CEO and other bank officials.

Penjore said that citizens have the right to report on corruption, and his Facebook post was not misinformation.