Bhutan’s top SC judge, former military officer detained in 'conspiracy' case

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Thimphu, Feb 18 (PTI) The Royal Bhutan Police have detained the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, a former top military officer and an associate justice for allegedly plotting to replace the country’s Chief Justice, the Army chief and a law officer, according to media reports.

The police in this Himalayan nation on Wednesday detained senior-most judge of the Supreme Court Kuenlay Tshering, along with the drangpon (associate justice) of the Pemagatshel Dzongkhag administrative unit Yeshey Dorji.

The two were reportedly arrested following the detention of former Royal Body Guard (RBG) commandant Brigadier Thinley Tobgye in connection with a 'criminal conspiracy' against the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA), Bhutan’s state-run official newspaper Kuensel reported.

The alleged criminal conspiracy and impersonation cases reportedly came to the fore after a woman, who was arrested a few months ago, disclosed their conspiratorial relationship, it said.

The report citing sources said that their motives were to allegedly become the RBA’s Chief Operations Officer, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General or Registrar General of the Supreme Court.

The three were detained in the same case of trying to frame current Chief Operations Officer of the Royal Bhutan Army Goongloen Gongma Batoo Tshering in what is being called an untrue corruption case, The Bhutanese newspaper reported.

Brigadier Tobgye allegedly had illegally obtained some documents from the RBA on the procurement of the United Nations vehicles. The quotation had been done publicly and fairly but the documents were attempted to be used to undermine the COO, said the report quoting a source.

The former military officer is accused of then using a woman named Khandu Wangmo to pass on those documents to sitting Supreme Court Judge Tshering to frame charges so that it could be sent to the ACC for a case against the COO.

Dorji is not directly involved but he has been detained as he was well aware of what was going on, the report said, adding that the three accused were friends who were well known to each other and belonged to the same group.

The motivation of the group was to take on the positions of the COO, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Attorney General or the Registrar General of the Supreme Court, the report said.

The case was charge-sheeted to the Thimphu District Court based on the investigation by the RBP. The Thimphu District court within the next 10 days will allow for a preliminary hearing where the accused will get a copy of the charge sheet and also get an opportunity to present their side of the story, it said. PTI MRJ AKJ MRJ