Kathmandu, November 1 Former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara denied the charge of attempt to rape in Kathmandu District Court where his trial hearing began today. Staffer at Parliament Secretariat had filed a first information report on October 4, accusing Mahara of attempting to rape her on September 29 at her rented apartment in Kathmandu. Recording his statement at the court during in-camera hearing today, Mahara said he had gone near victim's rented apartment at Tinkune on September 29, but returned home without entering her apartment, according to Mahara’s lawyer Advocate Murari Prasad Sapkota. More than a dozen lawyers are defending Mahara, whose trial was conducted under the bench of Judge Sudarshan Raj Pandey. Mahara told the court that the broken glass of his spectacles, which the police said was recovered from the alleged crime scene, might have been an old piece which the accuser could have deliberately gathered from his house to frame him in the case. Another lawyer who represented Mahara told THT that Mahara denied the charge he had beaten the accuser. “I heard the next day that she had suffered injuries in a fall at her apartment,” the lawyer quoted Mahara as telling the court. The victim had stated in her FIR that she was thrashed by Mahara when she resisted his attempt to rape her. Mahara also denied taking a bottle of whisky to the victim’s rented apartment on September 29. Mahara said he and his family knew the victim for the last 29 years and she treated him like her guardian. He also said that victim was upset as she blamed him for her transfer from the Parliament Secretariat. Mahara recorded his statement for almost five hours today. His trial hearing will continue on Sunday when attorneys from Kathmandu District Government Attorney’s Office will make their opening statements in support of the charge sheet. Mahara’s lawyers will then rebut the charges against him after which the government attorneys will offer their rejoinders, if Mahara’s lawyers bring new evidences to support their arguments. Government Attorney’s Office, Kathmandu filed a charge sheet against Mahara yesterday charging him of attempt to rape. The office has sought additional punishment ‘for misusing his public position.’ If convicted, Mahara could face a jail term from five years and three months to maximum seven years and six months as per existing laws. The victim has retracted her statement twice. She first told www.hamrakura.com that she was raped by Mahara. She then retracted her statement a day later telling an online portal that www.hamrakura.com’s report was false. She lodged an FIR almost a week after the alleged incident but when Mahara was arraigned in the court, she filed an application at Kathmandu District Court saying police had coerced her into filing the FIR. If the trial hearing concludes on Monday, the bench will decide whether Mahara should be sent to judicial custody or released on bail or personal recognisance.
Mahara denies rape attempt charge
The Himalayan Times
Published: 08:47 am Nov 02, 2019