Former Nepalese minister jailed on corruption charges

Nepal's Supreme Court on Tuesday sentenced former home minister Khum Bahadur Khadka to 18 months in prison and slapped a penalty of Rs 9.4 million on him for his involvement in corruption, revoking a 5-year-old verdict that had acquitted him.

The apex court also ordered confiscation of his property equivalent to the penalty amount, according to court officials.

The verdict against Khadka, a leader of the opposition Nepali Congress, was announced amid tight security, as authorities feared protest by his supporters who had gathered in the court complex.

Khadka was accused of accumulating property worth Nepali Rs 9.4 million, disproportionate to his legitimate sources of income, by misusing his ministerial portfolio several times since 1991.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) had filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against an earlier decision made by the Special Court to acquit him.

Khadka is the fourth former minister to be sentenced on corruption charges. All four were ministers during the Nepali Congress government.

Earlier, the court had convicted Chiranjivi Wagley, Jayaprakash Gupta and Govinda Raj Joshi and jailed them.

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