Nepalese colonel to appear in court again

A NEPALESE army officer accused of torturing two rebels during the country’s civil war is due to appear before the Old Bailey on Wednesday (June 19).

Colonel Kumar Lama, of St Peter’s Road, St Leonards is accused of inflicting ‘severe pain or suffering’ on Janak Bahadur Raut and Karam Hussain.

The offences are said to have taken place between April 15 2005 and October 31, 2005, at the Gorusinghe Army Barracks in Kapilvastu.

Lama, who has served in the Nepalese Army since 1984, was in charge of the barracks during the decade-long conflict in the Himalayan state.

The officer, who has indefinite leave to remain in the UK, was arrested in January this year under section 134(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, which allows prosecution of alleged war criminals in the UK under ‘universal jurisdiction’.

A case management hearing to decide a date for his trial is likely to be set. Lama had been serving as a UN peacekeeper in South Sudan and had been due to return to Africa today after spending Christmas at home with his wife and two children, aged 17 and 21.