11.7 C
Maseru
May 23, 2024
LAW & CRIME

CASE TO START AFRESH

 

Maseru, Aug.09—The High Court through Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane has on Wednesday ruled that a case in which two members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) are charged with the murder of Lisebo Tang, which occurred in 2014 near the residence of Former Army Commander Tlali Kamoli at Ha-Leqele, should start afresh. 

The Chief Justice stated that in a criminal case where a judge resigns, the position of the law is that the judge cannot be forced to come and complete the matter. He indicated that the proceedings become a nullity and the matter should start de novo especially if the accused have not been convicted. 

The case was initially handled by one of the foreign judges assigned to hear high profile cases Justice Kabelo Lebotse. He however resigned at an advanced stage of the case where he had already ruled that two of the accused Corporal Tjekane Sebolai and Private Selone Ratsiu have a case to answer. He acquitted their co-accused Private Kopano Matsoso indicating that the prosecution has failed to link him to the offences charged.    

The matter was eventually allocated to the Chief Justice.  

Meanwhile the presiding judge pointed out that the case will not be able to proceed as  recording machines used in courts have been affected by a virus which attacked the government’s system. He indicated that he has been advised that the virus will at least take a month to be cleaned.  

He emphasised that it is important that in a criminal trial, proceedings be electronically, not manually recorded. He said that is because it is believed that a machine cannot err in recording while a human might not record exactly what is said. He directed that the case will come again on August 30 2023 for mention. 

The Chief Justice warned the accused to continue to comply with their bail conditions. 

Apart from the murder charge, the accused who were guarding the residence of Kamoli on May 09 2014 are also charged with attempted murder of Tsépo Jane who was in the company of Tang on that fateful day. It is alleged that they shot and injured him.    

They are further charged with malicious damage to property for allegedly destroying Jane’s vehicle on the same day.    

The prosecution is represented by Advocate Motene Rafoneke while the defence is represented by Adv. Sello Ts’abeha. 

End  

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