Thinley Namgay    

Police submitted a third rebuttal against Penjore in the ongoing defamation case at Thimphu dzongkhag Court’s Criminal Bench II yesterday.

Police rebutted that if Penjore’s post was for the sake of the public, he has presented no justification for how his May 4 post last year on social media against the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) and Bhutan National Bank Ltd (BNBL) had benefited our society and country.

Police also submitted a portion of Penjore’s post that states: “Shocking Bigger Crime at Bhutan’s OAG level- A guilty Secret Cheating Case through Collusion- A National Shame. DANGEROUS and greater corruption happening in the OAG. [sic]”

Police said Penjore’s post was shameful, baseless, and false. Police requested that the court order Penjore to explain whether he was right or wrong. “Penjore refused to explain.”  

However, Penjore said that the police were supposed to present their explanations in yesterday’s rebuttal regarding his claims related to official misconduct and failure to report the crime. “But the police couldn’t justify that, despite the court’s order.”

In his earlier rebuttals, Penjore submitted that both the OAG and the BNBL should be held accountable. He also said that his post was for the public, and he demanded compensation for his 16-day detention by the police following alleged arbitrary arrest.

The police’s legal representative reiterated the earlier points, stating that Penjore’s post was not for the public, and he didn’t report to the relevant authorities before the post. “Due to this, there are chances that people don’t trust the OAG,” the representative said.

The defendant claimed that his Facebook post was intended for the public. Penjore accused the OAG in his post for not charging the BNBL officials in question, despite their official misconduct during staff recruitment.

Police submitted that the defendant is liable for defamation as per Section 317 of the Penal Code and should pay compensation to the OAG.

The next hearing is on January 10.