No concrete evidence against top Maoist leaders : CIAAOfficials investigating into alleged corruption at the former Maoist cantonments said they have failed to produce any concrete evidence to establish involvement of senior leaders
Officials investigating into alleged corruption at the former Maoist cantonments said they have failed to produce any concrete evidence to establish involvement of senior leaders of the UCPN (Maoist) party in the scam so far as demanded in the corruption complaint.
After going through the details collected from the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, the officials at the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) said there is no evidence to suggest the involvement of top Maoist leaders. Though the details show Krishna Bahadur Mahara received Rs 450 million in advance payment for salary for the then Maoist combatants stationed in cantonments, the investigating officials seemed to be at a loss on how to establish it as corruption.
Evidence gathered by the ministry shows Mahara had received Rs 450 million for salary and allowances of Maoist combatants. “We are still investigating into the matter but establishing evidence against politicians accused in the scam has become a tough job,” said a CIAA source privy to the development.
Collecting details from the ministry, the anti-grant body has started its investigation into the alleged involvement of Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and senior leader Baburam Bhattarai in the corruption scam.
The officials looking into the matter, however, said commanders of the former Maoist combatants could be investigated as they have put their signatures while receiving the funds.
A huge budget was released by the Civil Servants provident fund and later the fund was distributed by the Maoist combatants in presence of lower level combatants.
The officials are also in confusion over action to be taken in the context of the Office of the Auditor General cleared the budget allotted for cantonment operation and management including salary and allowances of former Maoist combatants.
“The Office of the Auditor General has Okayed total budget allocated for salary and allowance of Maoist combatants and the Cabinet has endorsed all the decision taken before allocating the budget,” said the sources. CIAA has no jurisdiction to investigate into the decision taken by the Cabinet and investigate into political parties.
CIAA officials said the investigation would be continued even if the Ministry’s records does not show the involvement of the top politicians. Some officials within the CIAA have suggested even to interrogate with the members of the then Special Committee formed to integrate and rehabilitate Maoist combatants as the body was responsible for the policy-level decision. “Top Maoist leaders neither put their signatures in the receipt nor collected salary from the cantonment. This has cause problem to establish their involvement in the scam,” said one official.
A corruption complaint was filed at the CIAA against Maoist leaders including Dahal and Bhattarai on charge of pocketing government fund allocated to pay salary and allowances to former combatants by producing fake combatants and commission charged to suppliers of rations and commanders. In the complaints the Youth Association Nepal, the CPN-UML aligned youth wing, has accused of misusing at least Rs 4 billion in the cantonment corruption scam.