Nthon­tho trial post­poned

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A CASE in which prom­i­nent lawyer, At­tor­ney Khotso Nthon­tho ( pic­tured), is fac­ing per­jury charges be­fore the Maseru Mag­is­trate’s Court has been post­poned to 23 March this year.

The trial was post­poned on Mon­day by Chief Mag­is­trate ‘Matankiso Nthunya af­ter Pros­e­cu­tor Ad­vo­cate Le­saoana Mo­hale told the court the pros­e­cu­tion had some is­sues to de­cide upon be­fore trial could pro­ceed.

Ad­vo­cate Mo­hale said among other mat­ters, the pros­e­cu­tion was con­sid­er­ing bring­ing ad­di­tional charges against At­tor­ney Nthon­tho and tak­ing the case to the High Court.

But At­tor­ney Tu­misang Mosotho, who rep­re­sents At­tor­ney Nthon­tho in the case, wanted the case to pro­ceed, ar­gu­ing if the pros­e­cu­tion was not ready to con­tinue, it should with­draw the charges and re­in­state them later.

At­tor­ney Mosotho ar­gued fur­ther post­pone­ments would pro­hibit At­tor­ney Nthon­tho from pur­su­ing his le­gal prac­tice freely be­cause of the pend­ing case.

How­ever, when post­pon­ing the case, Ms Nthunya also noted there was an ad­min­is­tra­tive is­sue which needed to be re­solved.

Ac­cord­ing to Ms Nthunya, mag­is­trates were re­luc­tant to pre­side over the case, which she said had to be looked into.

At­tor­ney Nthon­tho is charged with per­jury al­legedly com­mit­ted in the Court of Ap­peal in Novem­ber 2015 while rep­re­sent­ing sol­diers ac­cused of mutiny.

The lawyer was ar­rested on 12 Fe­bru­ary and ap­peared be­fore the Maseru Mag­is­trate’s Court four days later where he was for­mally charged.

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 (LDF) mem­bers ac­cused of plot­ting to topple 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’.

Their trial has since be­gun in the Court Mar­tial.

Read part of At­tor­ney Nthon­tho’s charges: “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 (No­tice 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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.