But one and a half decades and 14 prime ministers later, and despite the formation of two commissions to investigate war time excesses, conflict-era survivors of torture, abuse, rape and families of those killed continue to wait for justice.
Nepal’s delayed transitional justice and multiple cases of the perpetrators being set free have added to the injustice and anguish of the victims and their families.
Speaker Sapkota himself is alleged to have been involved in the April 2005 abduction, torture, disappearance, killing and illegal burial of Arjun Bahadur Lama, a civic leader from Kavre district. During conflict years, Sapkota was a central committee member and leader of the underground Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) in Sindhupalchok district, neighbouring Kavre.
Sapkota was elected as Speaker in January 2020 amidst protests against his candidacy. Before this, he served as a cabinet minister after his party entered mainstream politics in 2006 after the peace accord.
‘Despite the order of the Supreme Court requiring impartial and prompt investigation and an arrest warrant pending against him, investigations have not proceeded for more than a decade nor has he been arrested. Meanwhile, even as Mr. Sapkota’s political career has progressed, as far as the Nepal Police administration is concerned, he still cannot be located,’ the letter states.
Due to the allegations pending against him, Sapkota has had visa applications rejected by the United States and Australia in the past.