KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — A court in Nepal acquitted on Monday the former speaker of parliament on charges he raped a government worker at her home while he was intoxicated last year.
Krishna Bahadur Mahara, a senior Communist Party leader, has been in jail since he was arrested in October following the woman’s accusation.
The court ruled that there was no evidence backing the allegation.
The woman accused Mahara of entering her house at night while her husband was away and assaulting her.
Mahara denied the charge and said the woman had been refused a position in his office and was likely angry as a result.
Mahara was elected speaker of the House of Representative last year after the Communist Party of Nepal won a majority of the seats in elections in November 2017.
Mahara was a leader of the Maoist rebels who fought a violent campaign against the government between 1996 and 2006. The Maoists entered United Nations-monitored peace talks in 2006, ending their armed revolt, and joined mainstream politics. He played a key role in the peace talks with the government.
He has served as deputy prime minister, information minister and home minister.