No role in Deuba’s arrest: Ex-RCCC chief

Kathmandu, January 8:

The chairman of the disbanded Royal Commission for Corruption Control (RCCC), Bhakta Bahadur Koirala, told reporters today he did not know on whose orders former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba was arrested. Koirala said he had not ordered police to arrest Deuba.

Chairman of the Ojha Commission, Madhav Prasad Ojha and members Ram Prasad Gaudel and Chitra Dev Joshi had quizzed Koirala today. Koirala said he is ready to go to jail if the court finds him guilty.

“Being a Gorkhali, I would not be afraid to go to jail,” Koirala said.

Responding to a query, a member of the RCCC, Prem Bahadur Khati, who was with Koirala, said: “The King had told us to look at the fault of anyone, not at his or her face.”

“Today we started recording Koirala’s statement,” Gaudel told this daily.

“We told government attorneys to prosecute those found guilty, fearing that the RCCC will become an anarchic body if it is given the power to investigate cases, prosecute people and award punishment,” Gaudel quoted Koirala as saying.

“The chairman of the dissolved commission said King Gyanendra had assigned Judge Shambhu Khadka to work in the RCCC,” Gaudel said, adding: “Koirala said he did not know whether the King got permission from the Judicial Council to appoint Khadka in the RCCC.”

The commission also quizzed the then RCCC secretary Shambhu Khadka and member Prem Bahadur Khati.

The two claimed they had only done their jobs as per orders from “above”.