Nepal’s Lamichhane cleared of rape charges

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Nepal’s Lamichhane cleared of rape charges

Sandeep Lamichhane has been cleared of rape charges; the 23-year-old is Nepal’s highest-profile cricketer and is the only player from the country to take part in prominent T20 leagues around the world

Wednesday 15 May 2024 14:40, UK

An appeal court in Nepal on Wednesday cleared the country’s highest-profile cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane, who was convicted by a lower court of raping an 18-year-old woman.

Lamichhane, 23, has been the face of cricket in Nepal and the only player from the Himalayan country to take part in prominent Twenty20 leagues in India, Australia, Pakistan and West Indies.

The leg-spinner was suspended as Nepal’s captain and taken into custody after police issued an arrest warrant for him over the assault in 2022, and was later released on bail.

Kathmandu district court sentenced him to eight years in jail in January and said he should also pay about $3,770 as a fine and compensation to the victim.

Lamichhane’s lawyers said the High Court, Patan, concluding the hearing on his appeal set him free.

“He had to be cleared and the high court has set him free. He was not guilty,” Sabita Bhadari Baral, a lawyer for the player told Reuters after the court verdict, details of which are yet to be released.

A jubilant Lamichhane appeared at the court premises after the verdict. His supporters blew traditional musical pipes and beat drums to celebrate.

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