Date set for open­ing Court of Ap­peal ses­sion

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

THE Court of Ap­peal will hold its first ses­sion of the year on 11 April, al­beit un­der a new lead­er­ship.

This fol­lows last month’s sus­pen­sion of its pres­i­dent, Jus­tice Kananelo Mos­ito, for al­leged tax eva­sion.

Re­tired south African judge, Jus­tice Ian Gor­don Far­lam, was sub­se­quently ap­pointed Jus­tice Mos­ito’s re­place­ment, but in an act­ing ca­pac­ity.

In his sus­pen­sion let­ter to Jus­tice Mos­ito, Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili said the move was meant to pro­tect the court’s dig­nity.

Court of Ap­peal As­sis­tant Reg­is­trar, Ad­vo­cate ‘Matieho Mothobi, on Mon­day con­firmed the sit­ting of the apex court, but de­clined to give the names of the judges to pre­side over the 23 cases to be heard dur­ing the ses­sion.

“The ses­sion will start on 11 April, but I can­not dis­close the names of the judges for se­cu­rity rea­sons.

“What I can only tell you is that four of them are from south Africa, two from other neigh­bour­ing coun­tries and three from Le­sotho.

“An­other rea­son why we don’t dis­close their names in ad­vance is that some lawyers do what we call fo­rum shop­ping.

“This means if they know in ad­vance who is go­ing to pre­side over their cases, and they con­sider the judge harsh, they with­draw their cases.

“This creates lo­gis­ti­cal prob­lems be­cause ar­range­ments would have been made for the cases to pro­ceed,” she said.

Ac­cord­ing to the roll is­sued by Ad­vo­cate Mothobi on 9 March, 23 cases — 22 civil and one crim­i­nal — would be heard dur­ing the ses­sion.

The case of 23 sol­diers who want army com­man­der Lieu­tenant-gen­eral Tlali Kamoli con­victed of con­tempt of court for not re­leas­ing them from de­ten­tion, will be among those to be heard by the Court of Ap­peal this ses­sion.

Al­though the num­ber of sol­diers re­mains 23 in court pa­pers, five of the sol­diers have since been re­leased from the Maseru Max­i­mum se­cu­rity Prison.

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