Detained soldiers’ lawyer charged
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.