Sus­pect in shock claim against cops

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A man sus­pected of mur­der­ing two Chi­nese busi­ness­men three years ago has ac­cused the po­lice of pur­su­ing him be­cause he re­fused to pay them a m4000 bribe.

male­fane mokoena (44) on Tues­day told the High Court he never com­mit­ted the crimes but re­fused to pay the bribe hence his pros­e­cu­tion.

mokoena is charged with the killing of Aifu Yu and Tang Jan Fu in Ha-ra­mat­šeliso, Qacha’s nek on 12 July 2012.

How­ever, his lawyer, Ad­vo­cate ‘ mam­pai Le­supi, told the court his client was only be­fore the court be­cause he re­fused to bribe the po­lice, while three other men he was ar­rested with paid m4 000 each to the po­lice, and were let go.

The lawyer put mokoena’s al­le­ga­tions to Sub-in­spec­tor Ko­bile who was tes­ti­fy­ing in the court on Tues­day.

“The ac­cused in­forms me to tell you that he stands trial for mur­der to­day sim­ply be­cause he re­fused to give po­lice of­fi­cers han­dling the case m4 000, which three men he was ar­rested with paid.

“Those men were Tha­bang Koena, Le­bo­hang mo­liko and Sibu­siso Thapeli,” she said.

In re­sponse, Sub-in­spec­tor Ko­bile dis­missed the al­le­ga­tions as un­true.

“I don’t know about any pay­ments made to any po­lice sta­tions. It is not true be­cause there are no pay­ments made at po­lice of­fices,” Sub-in­spec­tor Ko­bile said.

In­stead, Sub-in­spec­tor Ko­bile told the court he ar­rested mokoena on 27 July 2012 in Qacha’s nek town af­ter re­ceiv­ing a tip-off from the public .

“I ar­rested him in town af­ter re­ceiv­ing in­for­ma­tion about his where­abouts.

“I had ear­lier re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that he was in­volved in the bru­tal killing of two Chi­nese busi­ness­men in Ha-ra­mat­šeliso.

“I was told that on the fate­ful night, he was putting on red shoes. In­deed, I found him in town still wear­ing the same shoes he had on the night he com­mit­ted the of­fence.

“I took those shoes from him as ex­hibits in court. I also con­fis­cated a black lap­top bag from him.

“It was the same bag that used to con­tain a lap­top be­long­ing to the mur­dered busi­ness­men.

“He also handed over a knife to me, which he vol­un­tar­ily said he had used to com­mit the crimes,” he said.

Sub-in­spec­tor Ko­bile also dis­missed mokoena’s ver­sion that he was in South Africa work­ing as a se­cu­rity guard on the night the busi­ness­men were mur­dered.

“There are peo­ple who saw him at the busi­ness­men’s premises on the night they were mur­dered,” he said.

But mokoena’s lawyer in­sisted her client was in South Africa at the time.

“His pass­port is suf­fi­cient tes­ti­mony that he was not in the coun­try on the day the crime is al­leged to have been com­mit­ted.

“It is also not true that he handed over a lap­top bag and a knife to the po­lice of­fi­cer.

“Those items were found with one of the men with whom he was ar­rested and de­tained in po­lice cells,” she said.

The case con­tin­ues be­fore Jus­tice ‘ mase­shophe Hla­joane, while Ad­vo­cate Thapelo mokuku pros­e­cutes.

High Court Judge ‘Mase­shophe Hla­joane.

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