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Jan. 11, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

3 min read

Sakoane threatens to dismiss treason case

Sakoane threatens to dismiss treason case

Chief Justice Sakoane Sakoane

Story highlights

  • Judge questions the appearance of new lawyer in the trial
  • The court wants the case to proceed even in the absence of lead prosecutor

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CHIEF Justice Sakoane Sakoane who is presiding over a matter in which a senior political leader along five members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) face treason has threatened to dismiss the trial if the prosecution fails to proceed with its case.

This, after King’s Counsel (KC) Hopolang Nathane who has just joined the prosecution team on Monday applied for postponement of the trial because the lead prosecutor, Senior Counsel Shaun Abrahams was not around.

He told the court that he had been briefed by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Advocate Hlalefang Motinyane to apply for the adjournment.
But the judge questioned Nathane’s appearance in his court, saying a notice of motion before him said the lawyer had only been briefed to appear in the case and not to apply for the postponement.

Chief Justice Sakoane was also keen to know why the Assistant Prosecutor, Adv ’Naki Nku could not proceed with the matter in Abrahams’ absence.

But Nku told him that she had not been given the brief by the DPP to lead in the case therefore she would have to consult her on the next step of action.

The judge however, insisted that given that the case had been scheduled to proceed, he would therefore not postpone it.

He instead gave both the defence and the prosecution an hour’s break after which they would address him as to why he could not dismiss the trial for want of prosecution.
After the break, Nku agreed that they were ready to proceed although she claimed to have only just received the docket and had as a result not even interviewed the witnesses.

For his part, KC Motiea Teele who represents some of the accused said he was going to apply for a motion to quash the charges because they did not stand as particularised.

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The court ruled that the application would be heard on Friday, ordering all the witnesses in the matter to appear before him on Monday.
The accused include the Minister of Development Planning who is also leader of Movement for Economic Change (MEC), Selibe Mochoboroane along with former army chief, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, and Litekanyo Nyakane, Motloheloa Ntsane as well as Leutsoa Motsieloa.

The accused face a battery of charges which include murder, attempted murder, risk to injury or death and aggravated assault.

They were initially charged together with former Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing who is also leader of Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD).

Metsing who fled the country last year is still at large and the court has since issued a warrant for his arrest. LeNA

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