LAWYER representing Mothetjoa Metsing and Selibe Mochoboroane in a matter in which they are challenging their joinder in a criminal case together with members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF), says although his clients were served with an indictment, they are however, not accused persons.
Aug. 10, 2021
3 min read
Lawyer says Metsing, Mochoboroane are not accused
LCD leader Mothetjoa Metsing and his MEC counterpart Selibe Mochoboroane
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King’s Counsel Motiea Teele told Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane on Monday that this is notwithstanding that both Metsing and Mochoboroane have also been given a notice of trial.
Metsing is the leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) and also the former Deputy Prime Minister. Mochoboroane is the leader of the Movement for Economic Change (MEC) and the Minister of Development Planning.
The two have been made several unsuccessful attempts to secure immunity from prosecution.
If the court rules against them, the two political leaders will be charged along with the four soldiers who are among others accused of the murder of Police Sub-Inspector Mokheseng Ramahloko at the police headquarters on August 30, 2014.
The quartet includes former army boss Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane along with Lance Corporals Motloheloa Ntsane and Leutsoa Motsieloa.
KC Teele on Monday told the High Court that the service does not mean one is an accused person, adding that certain requirements have to be met before one could be called an accused person.
He argued that one becomes an accused when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) follows procedure in accordance with the law.
A person, he said becomes an accused when a matter is properly filed before court and there are no defects in the filing of a charge as well as when there is no procedural illegality.
He said the jurisdictional facts under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which deal with a summary indictment have not been met in the application.
The DPP's decision he further showed to summarily indict the applicants is prejudicial, adding that the DPP is acting irrationally by joining the applicants in the indictment which has been pending since 2018.
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He said one does not need to be the accused before they could challenge a decision of the DPP.
But Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams who represents the Crown in the matter submitted that a process has already begun against the applicants, adding that they have been charged.
The applicants are trying to invoke Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act as well as challenging the administrative action of the DPP.
They are also attacking the ability of the DPP to try them and institute a summary trial. They are further questioning the manner in which the indictment was filed and how the DPP exercised her powers.
The court is yet to hear arguments on the merits of the application.