Crime & Justice

Over 300 including ex-ministers charged in Nepal land forgery case

Kathmandu, August 28 (EFE).- The Nepali government has filed a forgery case against 310 individuals, including a former deputy prime minister, former ministers and incumbent and retired top bureaucrats for their alleged involvement in a government land grab scam.

“The district attorney’s Office, Kathmandu filed the cases of forgery of government documents at the district court in Kathmandu,” Achyut Neupane, the head of the attorney’s office, told EFE on Monday.

The list of 310 people include 21 deceased, apart from a former deputy PM, three ex-ministers and two current government officials: government secretary Krishna Bahadur Raut and joint secretary Sushil Vaidya.

The prosecutors have charged the accused with illegally transferring more than 18 acres (over 7 hectares) of government land – in Kathmandu’s prime locations – to individual owners and private business over different periods of time, starting 1992.

Neupane said that the government aims to recover $137 million from the accused people.

Authorities have arrested 18 people so far, including a former head of Nepal’s anti-corruption body, as part of a wide-ranging probe that has included questioning two former prime minister: Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai.

Nepal served as Nepal’s PM between May 2009 and February 2011, while Bhattarai held the position between August 2011 and March 2013, when – according to the chargesheet – the cabinet took a series of decisions paving the way for the illegal tranfer of land.

However, the prosecutors have not named the two former PMs in the chargesheet, with the anti-corruption body saying that they were only required to record their statements, and their political decisiosn were outside the ambit of the probe.


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