Kathmandu, June 10:

The government has decided to support Nepali workers facing legal cases in foreign lands by allocating seed money to assuage legal troubles.

However, the fund will be used to support those Nepalis who might face death sentences in foreign land and whose family back home are financially unable to hire a defence lawyer, like in the case of Dolma Sherpa, who has been convicted by a Kuwait court of murder of a Filipino woman, and was awarded death sentence. She has appealled to the higher court.

Hira Bahadur Thapa, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) told this daily that the government has set a criteria to set up seed money, make international appeals and initiate a legal battle on foreign soil to protect any Nepali.

The government support will be extended in the cases where a death sentence is possible and that the Nepali citizen’s family is financially unable to hire a defence lawyer in the foreign country in question, he said.

“There are many Nepali migrant workers in foreign lands facing legal consequences,” said Thapa, adding that the government will extend support to them by negotiating with the respective foreign authorities to sort out their cases.

According to the MoFA, the Embassy of Nepal in Saudi Arabia has collected Rs 3.1 million from individuals, institutions, social organisations and charity organisations inside and out of Nepal to fight the legal battle of Dolma Sherpa. This includes a seed fund of Rs 400,000 set aside by the government.

The Embassy of Nepal in Saudi Arabia has paid Rs 1.1 million for a defence lawyer. Meanwhile Hamid Ansari, the Nepali ambassador to Saudi Arabia, is corresponding with the Embassy of the Philippines in Saudi Arabia to settle the case by compensating the victim’s kin. “The Nepal government has offered $10,000 as compensation to the victim’s family in the Philippines to seek amnesty from them,” said Thapa. “The legal battle for the release of Dolma would be easier if the victim’s family grant her amnesty.”