KATHMANDU, Oct 25: The Kathmandu District Court on Thursday remanded disgraced former speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, who resigned after being accused of attempted rape, to seven more days in police custody for investigation. This is the third time the court extended his remand.
Shortly after his arrest on October 6, he complained of hypertension and was admitted to the Norvic Hospital, Kathmandu and is still in the hospital.
Police said it would take investigators at least a week to complete the investigations. Mahara’s accuser, a female staffer at the parliament secretariat, had initially accused him of raping her and beating her up in the evening of September 29 but later filed a police complaint of attempted rape. But after a few days she retracted her statement saying she had filed the complaint under pressure from police and that Mahara had not visited her room.
Mahara, who in interviews with medial outlets earlier had confessed to having visited the accuser’s rented flat at Tinkune, Kathmandu, last week changed his statement and told the investigators that he had not visited the apartment. Police suspect that this could be a deliberate attempt to avoid any jail term.
The changing of statements by the accuser and the accused has made it difficult for the police to prepare a charge sheet. DSP Hobendra Bogati, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Range, said they were naturally facing some complexities with regard to the case. “We do have some evidences and things that belonged to him. But it would be hard to pursue a case against him when the alleged victim has herself retracted her complaint,” said Bogati.
Although Mahara, under widespread pressure, resigned from the post of speaker on October 1, he has not resigned as member of parliament.