Court releases rape-accused Nepali cricketer on bail
January 12, 2023 11:17 PM
A Nepal court has released on bail former national cricket captain Sandeep Lamichhane, who has been in custody for three months on rape charges.
Lamichhane, 22, is accused of raping a 17-year-old girl in a Kathmandu hotel room in August.
He initially failed to return from Jamaica, where he was playing in the Caribbean Premier League, when authorities issued an arrest warrant in September.
He returned the following month and has maintained his innocence while fighting his pre-trial detention.
"The high court today ordered his release on the bail. It's conditional bail that restricts him from travelling abroad," Patan High Court registrar Thagindra Kattel told AFP.
Kattel said he had been freed on a bond of two million rupees ($15,400).
Lamichhane was suspended as Nepal's cricket captain after the arrest warrant was issued.
The star spin-bowler had been a poster boy for the rise of cricket in mountainous Nepal, which gained one-day international status in 2018.
His big break came when he was snapped up by the Delhi Capitals for the money-spinning Indian Premier League in 2018, and he has since been Nepal's most sought-after cricketer.
Saroj Ghimire, Lamichhane's lawyer, told AFP that his client would be released on Friday.
"We expect his release... after completing the paperwork and filing the bail amount," he said.