Former Gelephu Drungpa Pema Wangdi has appealed to a higher court 12 days after the Gelephu drungkhag court sentenced him to a 15-year term in prison.

He submitted a petition on June 26 to the Gelephu court to forward his case to Sarpang dzongkhag court. Although the grounds of appeal is not specified in the petition, he has appealed for all the eight cases he was charged for.

Pema Wangdi was charged for 20 cases of corruption, forgery, embezzlement, commission, omission, officials misconduct, bribery, solicitation, perjury, and abuse of privilege information. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison but the court gave a concurrent sentence of 15 years imprisonment on June 14.

Along with Pema Wangdi, the former drungkhag administrative assistant, Sonam Norbu and drungpa Pema Wangdi’s son, Tobgay Dradul, also submitted appeal petition.

The administrative assistant was sentenced to eight years in prison. He was also given a concurrent prison term of 19 years in prison for seven counts of charges of embezzlement, forgery, passive bribery, and aiding and abetting.

Pema Wangdi and Sonam Norbu were sentenced to 15 years and eight years respectively for corruption in the process of getting the Losel cinema hall fund from Sikkim, India and misusing it.

Tobgay Dradul was given two years and six months compoundable sentence for forgery related to Gelephu tshachhu renovation work and deceptive practice in Sershong crematorium renovation project. His license was cancelled.

On June 14, Gelephu court also sentenced 18 other individuals to a prison term ranging from three months to four years for their involvement in deceptive corrupt practices, aiding and abetting corruption, omission and commission amounting to an abuse of function and forgery.

Gelephu drungkhag court will forward the appeal petition to the Sarpang dzongkhag court.

Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang