The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) appealed to the Supreme Court yesterday after the High Court’s larger bench dismissed their appeal to pursue the DeSuung training fund embezzlement case on August 17.
High Court bench III acquitted two individuals in the embezzlement case earlier this month.
The prosecutor, Royal Bhutan Army, did not appeal against the judgment. ACC appealed to the High Court’s larger bench to allow the commission to assume the role of the prosecutor and appeal against the bench III’s judgment.
The High Court in its dismissal order issued to the commission stated that the ACC does not have the legal standing to pursue the case. It stated that the commission was involved in the case only as an investigating agency and has no hand in prosecution. It stated that allowing the commission to prosecute the case would be unconstitutional. The High Court’s larger bench stated that it would also violate the Anti-Corruption Act as ACC can prosecute only in certain conditions.
Section 128 of the Act states that the commission may carry out its own prosecution of a person charged with an offence under the Act or take over the prosecution process from the Office of the Attorney General when the case is delayed without valid reason, manipulated, or hampered by interference.
An ACC official said that the court considered only parts of the statements that suit the defendants’ arguments and did not consider the statements in their entirety.
One of the main contentions of the commission’s appeal is that the court’s admission of Major Sigay Tshewang’s diary. The commission stated that the defendant in his statement to the commission said that he had destroyed the diary. It was later produced in the trial court.