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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06KATHMANDU429 2006-02-13 13:30:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

SUPREME COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF FORMER PRIME

Tags:   PGOV PHUM NP 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L KATHMANDU 000429 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SA/INS
NSC FOR RICHELSOPH

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/2016
TAGS: PGOV PHUM NP
SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT ORDERS RELEASE OF FORMER PRIME
MINISTER DEUBA

REF: A. 05 KATHMANDU 409


B. 05 KATHMANDU 1879

Classified By: Ambassador James F. Moriarty, reasons 1.4 (b/d)



1. (U) This cable is an action request, see paragraph 6.

SUPREME COURT DISSOLVES RCCC; THROWS OUT ALL DECISIONS


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2. (C) In a major decision, Nepal's Supreme Court on February
13 declared the Royal Commission for Corruption Control
(RCCC) unconstitutional, ordered the Commission to be
dissolved, and voided all decisions taken by the RCCC. The
King formed the RCCC after he took power on February 1, 2005
under the emergency authority of Article 127 of the Nepali
Constitution. Although the King ended the state of emergency
in April 2005, he extended the RCCC through royal decree.
The Supreme Court ruled the extension unconstitutional.
Spokesperson for the Nepali Congress - Democratic (NC-D)
Minendra Rijal, declared the Court's decision had
demonstrated that it had the power to counter the acts of the
King. Jhalanath Khanal, Central Committee Member of the
United Marxist - Leninist (UML) party, commented that the
Court decision had shown that the present regime was using
illegal and unconstitutional means to "suppress" the people.

FORMER PM DEUBA TO BE RELEASED


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3. (C) The result of the Supreme Court's voiding of all RCCC
decisions is the release of NC-D President and former Prime
Minister (twice) Sher Bahadur Deuba, and NC-D General
Secretary Prakash Man Singh. It remains unclear whether

SIPDIS
Deuba and Singh will be released today. Rijal claims that a
writ has to be filed tomorrow to secure their release, while
Khanal stated that the two NC-D leaders should be released
based on the Supreme Court decision alone. Khanal commented
that the time had come to "eliminate" autocratic rule, while
Rijal said the decision had vindicated Deuba and Singh.

OTHERS SET FREE OVER PAST DAYS


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4. (C) The positive Court decision followed the gradual
release of detainees over the past two days. The human
rights organization Informal Sector Service Center reports
that the government released more than 300 detainees
nationwide out of 1000 over the past two days, including
politicos, teachers, and students.

COMMENT


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5. (C) The Supreme Court decision is a signal that the King
might be ready to reach out to the political parties. Ever
since the conviction of Deuba, we have been pressing the
government to release Deuba and dissolve the RCCC.
Vice-Chairman Giri had indicated such a step would be
possible. We believe the Court might have received a
green-light to issue the five-judge panel's unanimous
decision.

ACTION REQUEST


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6. (U) Post provides the following if asked guidance, as
needed.

Begin Suggested Press Guidance.

The Department welcomes the decision by the Supreme Court of
Nepal to dissolve the RCCC and order the release of former
Prime Minister Deuba. We hope that this action will serve as
a catalyst for the King and Nepal's legitimate political
parties to begin a process of reconciliation leading toward
the restoration of democracy and the effective handling of
the Maoist insurgency.


End Suggested Press Guidance.
MORIARTY