Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai appeared in person in Supreme Court on Monday in connection with a 2004 murder case of a journalist.
Bhattarai was summoned on contempt of court charge for allegedly trying to obstruct investigation into the murder of Dekendra Thapa during the peak of the country’s civil war.
In his five-page written clarification the Prime Minister stated that he had not committed any contempt of court.
Bhattarai maintained that his opinion regarding the case were in line with the 2006 peace accord which stipulated settlement of all civil war cases through a truth and reconciliation commission.
Attorney General Mukti Pradhan, who had issued orders to the Dailekh district attorney and police office not to record statements of the five Maoist cadres accused of murdering Thapa, also defended his move.
Bhattarai and Pradhan were summoned following a writ filed by Democratic Lawyers’ Association and Nepal Press Union which alleged both had committed contempt of court by interfering in a sub-judice case.
Thapa who was allegedly tortured and buried alive by Maoists cadres is one of the nearly 16,000 people who lost their lives to violence by Maoists and security forces during the 1996-2006 unrest.
Tension has been brewing in Dailekh following the arrest of the five accused belonging to Bhattarai’s party earlier this month.
While Maoists have denied any involvement in Thapa’s killing, protesters have targeted the party and also Bhattarai for trying to halt proceedings into the case.