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Nepal court convicts 19 in Himalayan Viagra case

A Nepalese court has found six men guilty of murdering seven fir "Himalayan Viagra", a rare caterpillar fungus.
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This file photo taken on May 29, 2007 shows three 'Yarchagumba', which in Tibetan means 'summer plant, winter insect' and used as a health supplement, are displayed in the palm of a hand in Kathmandu. (Devendra M Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

A Nepalese court has found six men guilty of murdering seven rivals in a fight over "Himalayan Viagra," a rare caterpillar fungus that is highly prized as a aphrodisiac, BBC News reported.

The court has convicted 19 villagers over the murder.

According to AFP:

Seven farmers were killed in the remote northern district of Manang in June 2009 after going to forage for Yarsagumba, a rare parasitic plant that is a major source of income for many Himalayan communities.

The 19 men accused claimed that the farmers died accidentally after a fight broke out about who had the right to harvest it.

The plant is in particular demand in China, where a kilogram can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

Foraging for this fungus is a major source of income for poor Himalayan communities, BBC News reported.

According to News24, the court, which is a two day walk from the nearest road, was forced to delay the verdict more than a dozen times due to absent judges and lawyers.

Six men have been found guilty of murder, and a group of 13 others have been sentenced to two years in jail, Shamu Baral, a court registrar told AFP.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/nepal-court-convicts-19-himalayan-viagra-case