Neten Dorji | Wamrong

Thrimshing police submitted in writing what they previously requested verbally to the Wamrong court to summon Namgay Zam, for questioning her on the Facebook post she wrote on July 5, where she alleged police of fabricating facts.

The submission was made during the rebuttal hearing of the Wamrong battery case involving the three accused held yesterday.

Thrimshing police representing Wamrong police submitted: “As the case in the court, we would like to request the court to summon Namgay Zam before the court for justification.”

However, the court denied the prosecution’s request. The court pointed out that the excerpts of the post prosecution submitted before the court, as evidence yesterday is not imminently prejudicial and is not an assumed outcome of the proceedings.

“General public must strike a balance in exercising their freedom of speech, opinion, and expression and the entrenched right of the accused to a fair trail, where the accused of any nature of crime should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in accordance with laws,” the court stated.

The court also noted during the hearing that ‘responsible’ media scrutiny is beneficial because it usually provides an external check and balance to Royal Bhutan Police, prosecutorial and judicial authorities and such other public institutions, and safeguards miscarriages of justice.

The police submitted their rebuttal against the opening statement submitted by the three defendants.

“Though Tshering Yangki pleaded not guilty to the charge against battery, it is clear in a short video clip which we will submit during evidence hearing,” the prosecutor submitted.

Police submitted that Sonam Peldon had to be charged for the offense of assault since she had equally assaulted Tshering Yangki during the altercation.

“There is no evidence and witnesses to prove that Sonam Peldon’s son had a screwdriver in his hand during the incident.  So the prosecution couldn’t charge him for the offence of battery as asked by the accused Tshering Yangki,” the prosecutor submitted.

On the allegations of circulating the video and pictures to defame the Drangpon and his wife by their opponents, police submitted that since the video is circulated after the case have been filed before the court, they need a direction from the court as to whether they can initiate a separate investigation or if they could invoke section 187.3 of Civil and Criminal Procedure Code of Bhutan and sentence accordingly. The court however informed the prosecutor that the court couldn’t take the role of investigation and prosecutorial authorities, as the court’s role is only to adjudicate. Therefore, the court ordered the prosecutor to submit additional charges if they deem necessary during the next hearing.

On compensation and damages for the injuries sustained and expenses for Sonam Peldon’s treatment, police submitted that as per section 36 of the Penal Code, the court could order Tshering Yangki to pay compensation and damages.

Regarding charges against the Drangpon on his failure to report crime, the prosecutor submitted that the Drangpon had only known about the events but did not witness the incident.  Therefore, the prosecutor submitted that they couldn’t charge Drangpon for the offence of failure to report a crime.

After observing certain irregularities in the statements of facts submitted by the prosecutors and the three accused, the court has ordered them to submit a justification on factual findings.

The court also asked the three defendants to resubmit their rebuttals along with depositions detailing out the chain of events transpired on the evening of April 26.

The next rebuttal hearing is on July 13.