Man de­mands M50k over po­lice tor­ture

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

For­mer Lerotholi Polytech­nic stu­dent, Hareteke ma­tobo, is su­ing the Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, Of­fi­cer Com­mand­ing Thamae Po­lice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral, for m50 000.

ma­tobo (25) was ar­rested for sus­pected house­break­ing and theft three years ago, and claims he was as­saulted while in po­lice cus­tody, hence the law­suit for “pain and suf­fer­ing”.

ma­tobo on Tues­day this week told High Court judge, Jus­tice Tšeliso mon­aphathi how he was as­saulted by Thamae po­lice of­fi­cers in Septem­ber 2011, af­ter be­ing ac­cused of bur­gling a Qoal­ing home and steal­ing a lap­top.

He told the court he was also rent­ing a house in the same area as he was pur­su­ing his stud­ies at the Lerotholi Polytech­nic.

“on the night of 14 Septem­ber 2011, four po­lice of­fi­cers came to my res­i­dence and told me that I was sus­pected of steal­ing a lap­top at a cer­tain res­i­dence in the same area.

“I was taken to Thamae Po­lice Sta­tion to­gether with three other young men who also stayed in Qoal­ing. They locked us in a cell.

“Dur­ing the night, the po­lice drove me out of the cell and took me to an­other room where they told me to re­trieve the lap­top I had sto- len.

“They started as­sault­ing me with a rod when I told them that I knew noth­ing about the lap­top they were talk­ing about. They as­saulted me all over the body and ended up in­jur­ing my knee. The as­sault lasted about 30 min­utes and they took me back to the cell to join the other three young men who had been ar­rested to­gether with me.

“I was re­leased two days later and went to hos­pi­tal where the doc­tor ex­am­ined me,” he said.

But the po­lice, in their court pa­pers, deny ever as­sault­ing ma­tobo, and ever tak­ing him to Thamae Po­lice sta­tion as he claims. But dur­ing the trial, the po­lice and At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Tau, said the de­nial had been a mis­take.

How­ever, Jus­tice mon­aphathi said Ad­vo­cate Tau should spare the is­sue for lawyers’ ar­gu­ments af­ter all ev­i­dence had been led be­fore the court.

on the other hand, Po­lice Constable Hloele ad­mit­ted ma­tobo was ar­rested and de­tained at Thamae Po­lice Sta­tion as he stated but de­nied he was as­saulted. The case pro­ceeds and ma­tobo is legally rep­re­sented by Ad­vo­cate mets­ing mets­ing.

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