Fugitive wins seat in Nepal Parliament

A Nepalese election commission officer empties a ballot box prior to counting the votes in Kathmandu on Friday. (AP)
Updated 12 December 2017
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Fugitive wins seat in Nepal Parliament

KATMANDU: A fugitive wanted over a deadly attack on police won a seat in Nepal’s national Parliament Tuesday, despite being in hiding and not once appearing in public during his campaign.
Resham Chaudhary won the seat from Kailali in western Nepal by a landslide, securing more than double the votes of his closest rival, according to results from the election commission.
Chaudhary has been in hiding since 2015 when he was accused of masterminding an attack in which eight police officers and a toddler were killed.
“He is in our wanted list and we can arrest him even though he has been elected as a member of Parliament, if we find him,” said police spokesman Manoj Neupane.
Chaudhary was a key figure in violent protests that erupted in 2015 over a contentious new constitution.
Ethnic minority groups from across Nepal’s southern lowlands took to the streets demanding changes to the charter, which they say leaves them politically marginalized.
Around 50 people died in clashes between protesters and police that led to a blockade of the border with India and a crippling shortage of goods in landlocked Nepal.
Chaudhary has previously denied masterminding the attack on police, which he described as a “people’s uprising.”
But a parliamentary committee concluded the killings were premeditated, and a Human Rights Watch investigation found some protesters appeared to have come prepared for violence.
The protest movements have lost momentum in recent years and many of their leaders have joined political parties.
During his campaign, Chaudhary never once emerged from hiding. Instead he recorded a series of audio and video speeches that his supporters played on laptops at crowded rallies, according to local media.
This is not the first time a man on the police’s wanted list has ended up in Nepal’s Parliament.
Shortly after being elected to Parliament in 2013, Sanjay Sah was arrested for his role in a deadly bombing the year before. He is still in jail.
Votes are still being counted following landmark national and provincial elections, which mark the end of the country’s tumultuous transition from monarchy to democracy 11 years after the end of a brutal civil war.
Final results are expected by the end of the week, but an alliance of the two main communist parties has already won a strong majority.


Actor Geoffrey Rush accused of sexual misconduct

Updated 58 sec ago
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Actor Geoffrey Rush accused of sexual misconduct

  • Yale Stone said Rush danced naked in front of her in their dressing room

NEW YORK: “Orange Is the New Black” actress Yael Stone alleged actor Geoffrey Rush engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior when they starred in “The Diary of a Madman” in 2010.
Speaking to The New York Times , the 33-year-old said Rush danced naked in front of her in their dressing room, used a mirror to watch her while she showered and sent her occasionally erotic texts.
Stone said she “enthusiastically and willingly” replied to the texts from her fellow Australian actor when she was 25 and he was 59.
“I was so flattered that someone like that would spend their time texting me into the very early hours of the morning,” she said. “Gradually the text messages became more sexual in nature, but always encased in this very highfalutin intellectual language.”
“I’m embarrassed by the ways I participated,” Stone said. “I certainly wouldn’t engage as the person I am now in the way I did when I was 25.”
Stone said she was trying to manage “uncomfortable moments” without offending the star.
In a statement , Rush said the allegations “are incorrect and in some instances have been taken completely out of context.”
“However, clearly Yael has been upset on occasion by the spirited enthusiasm I generally bring to my work. I sincerely and deeply regret if I have caused her any distress. This, most certainly, has never been my intention,” Rush said.
Emails sent from The Associated Press seeking additional comments Monday morning were not returned.
The allegations came as Rush awaited a verdict in a defamation lawsuit that he filed in Australia.
Rush sued the Daily Telegraph’s publisher, Nationwide News, and a journalist over two articles and a newspaper poster published in 2017. They related to a report he behaved inappropriately toward a co-star during a Sydney Theatre Company production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016.
The Academy Award-winning actor denied the allegation.
A judge is expected to issue a ruling next year.