De­tained sol­diers’ lawyer charged

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

PROM­I­NENT lawyer, At­tor­ney Khotso Nthon­tho, has been charged with per­jury al­legedly com­mit­ted in the Court of Ap­peal last Novem­ber while rep­re­sent­ing de­tained sol­diers ac­cused of mutiny.

At­tor­ney Nthon­tho ap­peared be­fore the Maseru Mag­is­trate’s Court on Tues­day and was for­mally charged af­ter he was ar­rested last Fri­day.

He was, how­ever, re­leased the same day fol­low­ing an ur­gent High Court ap­pli­ca­tion by his wife, ‘Math­ato, and 10 lawyers.

High Court judge, Jus­tice Semapo Peete, or­dered At­tor­ney Nthon­tho’s “im­me­di­ate re­lease with­out de­lay” fol­low­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the charge sheet, At­tor­ney Nthon­tho al­legedly vi­o­lated pro­vi­sions of the Pe­nal Code Act No 6 of 2010.

At­tor­ney Nthon­tho is among lawyers rep­re­sent­ing 23 Le­sotho De­fence Force mem­bers ac­cused of hatching a mutiny plot against the army com­mand. The sus­pects were ar­rested be­tween May and June last year and de­tained at Maseru Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity Prison. Five of the sol­diers have since been re­leased and placed un­der ‘open ar­rest’.

Read part of the charges re­lat­ing to At­tor­ney Nthon­tho’s rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Lance Cor­po­ral Aupa Mo­hasi and Cor­po­ral Mo­lato Mo­hat­lane: “In that upon or about the 9th day of Novem­ber 2015 and at or near the Court of Ap­peal of Le­sotho in the district of Maseru, the said ac­cused did file an ap­pli­ca­tion (No- tice of Mo­tion) ad­dressed to the Court of Ap­peal on be­half of the ap­pli­cants therein namely, Aupa Mo­hasi and Mo­lato Mo­hat­lane in C of A (civ) 29\2015, in which ju­di­cial pro­ceed­ings the ac­cused did in­ten­tion­ally make a false state­ment re­lated to any mat­ter ma­te­rial to the course of the ju­di­cial pro­ceed­ing and did thereby con­tra­vene pro­vi­sions of Sec­tion 86(1) of the Pe­nal Code No.6 of 2010.”

The lawyer also faces an al­ter­na­tive charge of al­legedly fabri­cat­ing ev­i­dence.

The case is pros­e­cuted by Ad­vo­cate Le­saoana Mo­hale, while At­tor­ney Tu­misang Mosotho rep­re­sents At­tor­ney Nthon­tho in the case.

Pros­e­cu­tion and de­fence lawyers are ex­pected to ap­pear be­fore Chief Mag­is­trate ‘Matankiso Nthunya on 26 Fe­bru­ary 2016 to set a hear­ing date. Mean­while, At­tor­ney Nthon­tho’s Ma­sowe 1 home was at­tacked by un­known as­sailants on Fri­day last week.

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