Nepal | August 05, 2020

33 kg gold smuggling: Defendant-lawyers refuse to look into evidence

Hari Adhikari
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BIRATNAGAR: On the second day of trial hearing of the infamous gold smuggling, murder and organised crime case filed against 63 persons, the lawyers defending the accused have refused to watch video-proof presented by the plaintiff’s side.

Before the session ended at District Court, Morang on Friday, lawyers debating from government’s side tried to present a video showing the alleged mastermind Chudamani Upreti and his aides administering torture on gold carriers and airline employees.

However, the lawyers defending the accused watched the video for few minutes and refused to view it further before the debate gathered heat at the closed-court.

After the heated discussions and end of working hours, the hearing has been postponed.

The office of government lawyers had presented video proof acquired by special investigation team from the accused, kin of suspects and video provided by Nepal Police’s digital forensic lab.

A video showing the smugglers administering torture on co-conspirators after the smuggled gold went missing had been extracted from mobile phones of the suspects.

Although the video provides clear evidence on the case, the defendant lawyers refused to watch it with the fear of losing their grounds, plaintiff-lawyers said.

On the other hand, defendant lawyers said that they refused to watch the video because doing so would allow the accused to initiate a blame game against each other.

The trial-hearing which will resume on Sunday, May 13, 2018 will witness the defendant’s lawyers take the floors. 83 lawyers have registered to speak on behalf of the 30 accused taken into police custody.

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