Nepalese army colonel Kumar Lama denies 2 torture charges in London court

LONDON: A Nepalese army officer has denied two charges of torture allegedly committed during the Himalayan nation’s civil war.

Kumar Lama, 46, was arrested in January in the English town of St. Leonards-on-Sea, about 70 miles (115 kilometers) southeast of London. He was granted conditional bail at the hearing Friday.

Lama has served in the Nepalese military since 1984 and was in charge of the barracks at the time of the alleged 2005 offenses. He had been spending Christmas in England at the time of his arrest.

British authorities claim “universal jurisdiction” over war crimes, torture, and other serious offenses — allowing for prosecution of such crimes regardless of where they occurred. The Nepalese government protested the arrest.

Thousands died during Nepal’s civil war, a decade-long conflict that ended in 2006.

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