Mos­ito im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings be­gin

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

A THREE-MEM­BER tri­bunal es­tab­lished to in­ves­ti­gate tax-eva­sion al­le­ga­tions against Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent, Jus­tice Kananelo Mos­ito, be­gan its work on Mon­day this week.

The tri­bunal is com­prised of chair­per­son Jus­tice Fred­erik Daniel Ja­cobus Brand, Jus­tice Noel Vic­tor Hurt, and Jus­tice John God­frey Fox­croft all from South Africa, and started by draw­ing a roadmap on how to con­duct the pro­ceed­ings.

King Let­sie III last month ap­pointed the tri­bunal, in ac­cor­dance with the ad­vice of Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili, to in­ves­ti­gate Jus­tice Mos­ito who is ac­cused of fail­ing to pay in­come tax be­tween 1996 and 2014.

The govern­ment wants to im­peach Jus­tice Mos­ito af­ter the Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions (DPP), King’s Coun­sel Le­aba Thet­sane, pre­ferred the charges against the judge.

The govern­ment says it would not be in the in­ter­est of jus­tice that Dr Mos­ito con­tin­ues hold­ing of­fice when there are such se­ri­ous al­le­ga­tions against him.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter writ­ten by Dr Mo­sisili to Jus­tice Mos­ito on 4 Fe­bru­ary 2016 the tri­bunal was sup­posed to start its pro­ceed­ings yes­ter­day.

But ac­cord­ing to sources close to the mat­ter, the con­cerned par­ties met on Mon­day and Tues­day at a lo­cal ho­tel where the pro­ceed­ings are go­ing to be held.

The par­ties in­volved in the pro­ceed­ings signed a doc­u­ment ti­tled ‘Agreed Pro­ce­dural Ar­range­ment’ on Tues­day, in­di­cat­ing how the hear­ings would be con­ducted.

Part of the doc­u­ment reads: “It is agreed be­tween the par­ties and the Tri­bunal that the fol­low­ing pro­ce­dure will ap­ply in or­der to de­fine the is­sues in the hear­ing: 1. The com­plainant (govern­ment) is to de­liver to the Re­spon­dent’s At­tor­ney, by the 19th April 2016, a state­ment of the grounds of its com­plaint against the Re­spon­dent (Jus­tice Mos­ito), such state­ment to be ac­com­pa­nied by the doc­u­ments upon which the Com­plainant in­tends to rely in sup­port of its con­tentions. 2. The Re­spon­dent is to de­liver to the Com­plainant’s At­tor­ney, by 1st June, 2016, a state­ment of the grounds upon which he re­lies in sup­port of his de­fence against the com­plainant, such state­ment to be ac­com­pa­nied by any doc­u­ments (other than those ac­com­pa­ny­ing the com­plainant’s state­ment) upon which he in­tends to rely in sup­port of his de­fence.”

The agree­ment was also that the pro­ceed­ings should run from 8 to 10 Au­gust 2016.

Jus­tice Mos­ito’s trou­bles started in Au­gust last year when Ad­vo­cate Thet­sane pre­ferred charges against him for al­legedly not pay­ing tax be­tween 1996 and 2014.

How­ever, Jus­tice Mos­ito filed an ur­gent con­sti­tu­tional case in which he wanted to have charges against him dropped.

His ar­gu­ment was that the charges were dis­crim­i­na­tory be­cause he hadd been sin­gled out of other judges as well as some top lawyers, he al­leged also did not pay tax as re­quired by the law.

But be­fore his case could be heard, the Prime Min­is­ter no­ti­fied Dr Mos­ito about the govern­ment’s in­ten­tion to have him im­peached on the ba­sis of the tax al­le­ga­tions.

Again he filed a con­sti­tu­tion­alonal case to block Dr Mo­sisili’s in­ten­tion to have him im­peached.

The two cases were heard to­geth­er­gether and the judge lost both of them.

He has since ap­pealed against nst both judg­ments.

In the mean­time, Dr Mos­ito o filed an ap­pli­ca­tion be­fore the Court of Ap­peal for an or­der stop­ping his pros­e­cu­tion and im­peach­ment pro­ceed­ings pend­ing the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of the ap­peal.

But the Court of Ap­peal on 26 Jan­uary 2016 ruled that the prime min­is­ter ster had the right to pro­ceed with the im­peach­ment peach­ment pro­ceed­ings even be­fore Jus­tice e Mos­ito’s ap­peal has been heard.

How­ever, the Court of Ap­peal­peal said the pros­e­cu­tion against him should not pro­ceed un­til the ap­peal hasas been heard.

It is ex­pected that the ap­peal would be heard in the April ses­sion whose dates have not yet been an­nounced.nced.

Jus­tice Mos­ito was in­def­i­nitely itely sus­pended from work on 12 Fe­bru­ar­yary 2016.

SUS­PENDED Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent Jus­tice Kananelo Mos­ito

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