Disgraced CIAA boss leaves for CanadaA week after the Supreme Court disqualified Lokman Singh Karki as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, he departed for New Delhi on Sunday with his wife Sunita and two close aides.
A week after the Supreme Court disqualified Lokman Singh Karki as the chief of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority, he departed for New Delhi on Sunday with his wife Sunita and two close aides.
Informed sources said his final destination is Canada, after visiting India and Mauritius. Karki has booked air tickets to Mauritius. They have also booked a hotel in Mauritius for two days, the sources said. “He will then leave for Canada for which tickets have already been confirmed.”
It is not known whether Karki has left the country for a long stay overseas or is scheduled to return in the near future. “He has not booked a return ticket,” said a source.
Immediately, there were speculations in Kathmandu about Karki’s move overseas and whether he could be extradited to Nepal should he face prosecution here. Some suspect that he has relatives in the United States, Canada and Australia and he could possibly decide to stay there. Nepal has not signed extradition treaty with these countries.
The court verdict does not bar him from travelling abroad and the government, or the court, has not asked him to surrender his diplomatic passport.
“Since the court verdict, he has effectively turned into an ordinary citizen,” said Bal Krishna Panthi, spokesperson for the Home Ministry. “So he does not need to get approval to travel abroad.”
But if Karki needs to present himself for clarification as required by the impeachment process initiated in Parliament, he could exercise the option to stay continuously abroad, some worry. The government could, in such a case, face legal complications to extradite him.
Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, the CPN (Maoist Centre) lawmaker who played a key role in registering the impeachment motion against Karki, said if the Impeachment Recommendation Committee of Parliament asks Karki to defend his case, he should present himself before the committee.
“We don’t know whether he has left the country for good or just on a short travel. I came to know about his departure through media reports. This is not good news. The state should keep the record of such a departure,” he added.
His son, Abhyudaya Singh Karki, left for Canada, where he resides, on Friday.
A senior police official at the Tribhuvan International Airport confirmed that Karki, along with his wife and close associates—Gobardan Shrestha and Rajendra Chaudhary, boarded a Nepal Airlines flight to New Delhi at 9am Sunday.
Karki had appointed former Senior Superintendent of Police Shrestha as a crime expert in his “core team”. The new leadership at the CIAA disbanded it after Karki was suspended on October 19.
On January 8, the apex court declared the controversial Karki ineligible to head anti-graft body, citing inadequate service period in the government and his questionable reputation. He was indicated by the Krishna Jung Rayamajhi-led commission for suppressing the People’s Movement II. He left his official residence on Thursday.
That made it easy for him to fly away, said a senior government official.