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Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of rape

Last updated on 29 Dec 2023 | 03:48 PM
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Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane convicted of rape

"His sentence will be decided in the next hearing," said his lawyer

Nepal's Sandeep Lamichhane, on Friday (December 29), was convicted of rape after a repeatedly delayed trial that had left him free to continue his sporting career.

Last year he was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in a Kathmandu hotel but was freed on bail in January and returned to the squad to compete in international tournaments.

His lawyer Saroj Ghimire told AFP that a court had convicted Lamichhane on Friday. "His sentence will be decided in the next hearing," he added.

District court official Ramu Sharma confirmed the verdict to AFP. "The event was not consensual."

When authorities issued an arrest warrant, Lamichhane initially failed to return from Jamaica, where he was playing in the Caribbean Premier League.

He was dismissed as national captain and arrested last year but Nepal lifted his playing ban after he was freed on bail. This allowed him to remain in the national team, including for the World Cup qualifiers and September's Asia Cup.

Lamichhane has consistently denied the charge against him and enjoyed strong public support despite the accusations. Hundreds of cheering cricket fans welcomed him when he first returned to the field in February.

But his continued playing career has also sparked anger and caused numerous Nepalis to disavow the team. Scotland's cricketers refused to shake hands with him after their matches during an international tournament in Dubai.

The case against Lamichhane took more than a year to conclude after repeated delays on procedural grounds.

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