Thinley Namgay  

Thimphu police rebutted the claims defendant Penjore made that his social media post against the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) was in the interest of the public.

The submission was made yesterday at the Thimphu dzongkhag Court’s Criminal Bench II in the ongoing defamation case between Penjore and the OAG.

During his first rebuttal on December 13, Penjore claimed that the OAG had misunderstood his Facebook post and accused him of defamation based on a certain portion of his post. He called it an injustice.

Penjore then claimed in a Facebook post that there were lapses in the Bhutan National Bank Limited’s  management and  asked to fixing accountability.

He also said his post was for public interest and didn’t spread any misinformation.

However, police yesterday claimed Penjore had spread misinformation on social media about the OAG, and people commented many negative remarks. “There is a consequence that people will not trust the OAG.”

Police also claimed that if it’s for the public, Penjore should post correct information. “He could have verified the information and reported to relevant authorities before posting on social media.”

Police said the citizens have the right to report on corruption, but one has to check facts while exercising their fundamental rights.

On May 6, police arrested and detained Penjore for 16 days before the OAG charged him for sedition.

Penjore said he was detained for 16 days, which is against fundamental human rights, and the relevant authorities should be held accountable.

On Penjore’s arrest, police said there was a complaint about him, and police had to arrest him and detain him for 16 days.

“During the initial investigation, it was found that the case has a criminal element and to investigate properly, his mobile was sent to the cyber crime unit for data extraction. There is no other reason for arresting him,” police submitted.

The dzongkhag court dismissed the OAG’s sedition case against Penjore on June 18. Penjore will submit his rebuttal on December 27.