Col Lama returns homeThe case of Col Kumar Lama, who was acquitted this month by a UK court, is the first war-time crime tried abroad
Nepal Army Colonel Kumar Lama has arrived in Kathmandu after the British court acquitted him of charges with two counts of torture on two individuals in 2005 at Gorusinghe barracks in Kapilvastu.
NA Spokesperson Brigadier General Tara Bahadur Karki confirmed his arrival on Monday night. “He will join the office soon,” said Karki.
Lama, who was posted on a UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, was arrested by British police under the universal jurisdiction while he was visiting the UK in January 2013. He was detained for three years. The NA has said that the trial period would not affect his career in the national force. Karki, however, said that no decision has been taken on his posting and promotion yet.
Lama had requested the Nepali embassy in the UK to initiate the process of renouncing his permanent residence after the court dropped the charges against him. The embassy is said to have forwarded the request to the British Home Office. “Permanent residency is his personal affairs and we are not in a position to make comment on that,” said Karki.
Col Lama’s case is the first war-time crime tried abroad. Rights defenders have been urging the government to amend the law in line with the international laws and transitional justice principles to avoid repetition of such incident. The universal jurisdiction is attracted if the government is unwilling to book the perpetrators in the country and if the state lacks mechanism to address the incidents of serious crimes.