‘Scott will not hang’

Lesotho Times - - News - Lekhetho Nt­sukun­yane

Rit­ual mur­der sus­pect, lehlo­honolo scott, will not be killed even if he is con­victed of the charges he faces and sen­tenced to death by the High Court.

This was con­firmed by Law, Con­sti­tu­tional af­fairs and Hu­man Rights Min­is­ter Mot­la­len­toa let­sosa and Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP) le­aba thet­sane dur­ing a press brief­ing held in Maseru yes­ter­day.

speak­ing af­ter scott was ex­tra­dited from south africa yes­ter­day morn­ing, the Mr let­sosa said the le­sotho gov­ern­ment un­der­took not to ef­fect the death penalty should he be con­victed, when seek­ing his de­por­ta­tion.

the gov­ern­ments of south africa and le­sotho signed an ex­tra­di­tion treaty in 2001, which, among oth­ers, pro­vides that either coun­try could refuse to ex­tra­dite a sus­pect who is likely to be sen­tenced to death if found guilty. How­ever, only le­sotho up­holds the death penalty while south africa does not.

Re­fer­ring to ar­ti­cle 4 of the treaty, ad­vo­cate thet­sane quoted: “the ar­ti­cle pro­vides dis­cre­tionary re­fusal of ex­tra­di­tion. ex­tra­di­tion may be re­fused un­der any of the fol­low­ing cir­cum­stances: Where the of­fence for which ex­tra­di­tion is re­quested is sub­ject to the ju­ris­dic­tion of the re­quested state and that state will pros­e­cute that of­fence;

“Where the per­son sought is be­ing pros­e­cuted by the Re­quested state for the of­fence for which ex­tra­di­tion is re­quested; where the of­fence car­ries the death penalty un­der the law of the re­quest­ing state, un­less that state undertakes that if a sen­tence of death is im­posed, it will not be car­ried out.”

ad­vo­cate thet­sane told the me­dia brief­ing that it was against this back­ground that the gov­ern­ment of le­sotho pledged that scott would not be hanged even if he is sen­tenced to death.

“You may want to ask if ever south africa would know if a death penalty is ef­fected against scott or not, but you see, if we may ef­fect it against our prom­ise to south africa, we will be run­ning a risk whereby south africa will no longer ex­tra­dite peo­ple to le­sotho in the fu­ture,” the DPP said.

ad­vo­cate thet­sane ex­plained should the High Court sen­tence scott to death, the King is vested with pow­ers to over­turn that sen­tence for a le­nient one.

Mr let­sosa fur­ther ex­plained: “the gov­ern­ment will not, in any way, in­flu­ence the courts of law on how to sen­tence scott or in­ter­fere in any of the court pro­ceed­ings.

If the judge finds Scott guilty and feels that a death sen­tence should be his pun­ish­ment, he or she will pass that sen­tence with­out any in­ter­fer­ence from gov­ern­ment.

“Pro­cesses not to ef­fect that sen­tence will be left dealt with by gov­ern­ment af­ter­wards. it means the ex­ec­u­tive will con­sult with the King and ask him to ex­er­cise his right to over­turn the death penalty against scott.”

Mr let­sosa ex­plained scott’s ex­tra­di­tion came af­ter south africa’s Jus­tice and Cor­rec­tional ser­vice Min­is­ter Michael Ma­sutha en­dorsed his de­por­ta­tion pa­pers on 2 oc­to­ber 2015.

He said: “Fol­low­ing lengthy pro­cesses, the south african Jus­tice Min­is­ter signed the ex­tra­di­tion or­der on 2 oc­to­ber, seal­ing the ex­tra­di­tion of scott to le­sotho, hence his ar­rival to­day.”

scott (30) es­caped from Maseru Cen­tral Pri­son on 14 oc­to­ber 2012 while await­ing trial for the al­leged mur­der of fel­low Koal­a­bata res­i­dents Mo­holo­bela seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22) in Jan­uary and June 2012, re­spec­tively.

He had been ar­rested on 12 July 2012 along­side his mother ’Malehlo­honolo, fol­low­ing the dis­cov­ery of seetsa and Mo­hata’s mu­ti­lated bod­ies in Koal­a­bata.

af­ter al­most two years on the run, scott was ar­rested in Dur­ban on 6 april 2014 and lost his fight against ex­tra­di­tion in the Veru­lam Mag­is­trate’s Court on 5 May this year.

Lehlo­honolo Scott sits in a po­lice ve­hi­cle as he passes the Maseru Bor­der Post yes­ter­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.