Kathmandu District Court Judge Raj Kumar Koirala has claimed that he has not done anything wrong after broadcast of an audio tape purportedly depicting a deal of Rs 20 million between him and advocate Rudra Pokharel to release Ichha Raj Tamang on bail.
Koirala has conceded that his attention has been drawn by news reports on the issue and assured that he will cooperate if the Judicial Council investigates the matter.
“My attention has been drawn by news reports about me published today. I have not done anything untoward. I have played a neutral role despite different influences and pressure. Let the Judicial Council investigate me, I express full commitment to cooperate,” Koirala has posted on Facebook Wednesday.
News24 television broadcast the telephone conversation, authenticity of which Setopati has not been able to confirm, in a program Tuesday evening.
Pokharel tells Judge Koirala to release Tamang, who has been arrested in a fraud case, stressing that such opportunity does not come regularly in the purported conversation of almost 10 minutes. He assures Koirala that he will talk with CJ Cholendra Shumsher Rana, who has been suspended after an impeachment motion was lodged against him, and the top-ranked judge at the Kathmandu District Court about the matter in the conversation.
Koirala, who fears for his job at first, is convinced after Pokharel assures that his verdict will be endorsed even by the Patan High Court.
Tamang, who was arrested on the charge of duping commoners off Rs 8 billion, was sent to judicial custody on December 29, 2021.
The purported conversation seems to have taken place before that and the agreement does not seem to have held as Koirala sent him to jail.
Pokharel is close to CPN-UML and is a member of the legal department of the main opposition party. He was treasurer of the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) and had argued in defense of the House dissolution by KP Sharma Oli in the Supreme Court.