THT 10 YEARS AGO: Differences defer 7-party meeting

Kathmandu, December 19, 2007

The meeting of the sevenparty alliance scheduled for today at the Prime Minister’s residence was postponed due to lack of understanding between the Nepali Congress and the Maoists on the language to be used while amending Article 159 of the interim constitution and Maoist insistence on holding a roundtable meet of all political stakeholders on election system.

However, the alliance’s taskforce submitted its report on “political package” to top leaders of the alliance partners. “The meeting was postponed today as more bilateral discussions were needed between the major parties on some important issues,” NC leader Dr Prakash Sharan Mahat told the reporters.

Mahat, however, declined to say what were the issues still to be discussed by the major political parities even after the taskforce finalised its package deal. He said the NC was “flexible to the maximum level” to reach consensus on the issue of republic and electoral system.

Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai said the republic, electoral system and mechanism of running the interim government according to a coalition culture were the main issues.

He said his party had already given a text of the language to be used while amending the Article 159 of the interim constitution.

Apex court delays verdict in murder case against Sobhraj

Kathmandu, December 19, 2007

The hearing against suspected international serial killer Charles Gurumukh Sobhraj has been extended for a few months.

The bench was supposed to pronounce the verdict today but it issued an order to reopen a fake passport possession case against Sobhraj. “I am surprised as we did not expect an extension of hearing. All our efforts have gone in vain,” Sobhraj’s lawyer Rajaram Dhakal told this daily. “Reopening of the fake passport case would have been appropriate in the initial phase when the apex court had started the hearing,” Dhakal added.

A division bench of justices Anup Raj Sharma and Top Bahadur Magar said there was a need to reopen fake passport possession case against Sobhraj. The case was scrapped by the Kathmandu District Court and was upheld by the Patan Appellate Court.

The lower courts have convicted Sobhraj of killing American National Connie Jo Bronzich in Nepal in 1975. The bench said there was a need to reopen hearing on fake passport possession case, as there was contradiction between the murder case verdict and fake passport possession case verdict.

However, said there was no need to proceed hearing in the contempt of court case filed by Sobhraj against the government.

Sobhraj had filed contempt charge against the government as he claimed that the government authorities had produced baseless documents.