Communication ministers of the royal government, Tanka Dhakal and Shrish Shumsher Rana have admitted to bribing journalists during King Gyanendra's direct rule.
At the interrogation of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the HoR on Sunday, both ministers confessed they were involved in bribing some journalists and media groups. "Yes, I do agree to have handed money out," Dhakal said "but only to maintain peace and security in the country."
According to himalkhabar.com Rana also agreed to have also been involved in handing out money. "I don't know about laws and regulations, why don't you just ask the secretaries?" he told the committee. "But, I was directly involved in handing out money."
Dhakal told the committee that when he proposed to make cash handouts to journalists, the then cabinet had no problems approving his proposal. Former Secretary of the Ministry of Information and Communication, Kumar Poudel, was also present at the PAC to answer the questions of the MPs on the issue.
Tens of millions of rupees was illegally distributed to journalists and pro-palace media groups during the royal regime. These interrogations by the committee come as the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) stars preparing for investigation into the distribution of money to journalists by the royal government.