Opposition Leader (OL) and President of People’s Democratic Party, Tshering Tobgay, on Friday visited Sonam Tshering, the first Bhutanese citizen to be convicted under the anti-smoking law, at his detention camber and expressed such a long stay in jail would destroy the career of the 23-years-old monk student.
OL Tobgay told reporters yesterday in Thimphu that Sonam Tshering wanted to appeal to the high court.
The next opposition party member and Member of Parliament from Gasa, Damchoe Dorji, commented that the sentence should be appropriate to the degree of crime committed. He said his party never debated and voted for the anti-smoking act in the parliament.
MP Dorji also questioned if the court verdict to slap a three-year jail term to a monk accused of purchasing just 48 packets of tobacco was just to gain the international recognition. . “Everyone knows the sentence was not proportionate,” online edition of the Kuensel wrote quoting Dorji as saying. He demanded amendment at the earliest.
OL Tobgay, who also met another accused, Lhab Tshering being tried at the same court on tobacco smuggling, said one lawyer Choeda of UC Associates would represent Sonam to make the Thimphu Court’s verdict bailable at the High Court.
The Lawyer commented to the Kuensel that the judgment was passed without even having a prosecutor for Sonam Tshering.
“No judge can pass the judgment without a prosecutor,” he said. “If he cannot afford then the state should provide the lawyer according to the civil and criminal procedure.”