Saturday, July 28, 2007

Check authenticity of Bhatarrai’s documents, orders SC
The Special Court (SC) has ordered an examination into the authenticity of documents submitted by the suspended Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) Bijaya Nath Bhattarai in connection with the graft charges lodged against him by the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on Friday.
A combined bench of Special Court judges ordered that the authenticity and proof of documents submitted by the NRB governor Bhattarai should be checked from the NRB over the charges filed against Bhattarai by the CIAA.
In today’s hearing, Bhattarai himself was also present.
The court has also ordered statements from the suspended NRB’s Bank Financial Institutions Regulation Department Surendra Man Pradhan be recorded.The CIAA had filed graft cases at the SC against Bhattarai and suspended executive director Pradhan for serious “financial crimes” on June 29.
The CIAA had charged Bhattarai and Pradhan of embezzling Rs 195.319 million that Nepal had received in foreign aid for financial sector reforms.
Both Bhattarai and Pradhan were automatically suspended from their posts after the CIAA filed the case.
The NRB had handed over the responsibility of the Financial Sector Reform Programme to an American company IAF a year ago with an agreement to provide Rs 19 million to the latter.
The CIAA has claimed in its investigation that the IAF had breached the contract by leaving after working for just around a month and that during this one-month time, the IAF had already received $6.8 m from the NRB.
According to sources, the case was filed against Bhattarai and Pradhan after they failed to demand legal compensation to the tune of over Rs 24 million following a breach of the contract agreement by IAF that had also produced documents of another Sri Lankan company KPNG while signing the contract.

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