Judge warns Scotts as lawyer snubs court

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

HIGH Court judge Jus­tice Teboho Moiloa yesterday warned dou­ble rit­ual mur­der sus­pects, Lehlo­honolo Scott and his mother ’Malehlo­honolo, to “stop play­ing games” af­ter their lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Thulo Hoeane, failed to turn up for their hear­ing.

The lawyer, who was ap­pointed by the gov­ern­ment to rep­re­sent the Scotts, on 13 April 2016 told the High Court he was with­draw­ing from the case cit­ing “pro­fes­sional rea­sons”.

Ad­vo­cate Hoeane later told the Le­sotho Times he de­cided to with­draw his ser­vices be­cause he was not ap­ply with the way the judge was han­dling the case.

But Ad­vo­cate Hoeane later had a change of heart af­ter the Scotts in­di­cated they did not want any other lawyer apart from him.

Ad­vo­cate Hoeane had, how­ever, in­di­cated he would be ap­ply­ing for Jus­tice Moiloa to re­cuse him­self.

But the lawyer was not be­fore the court yesterday as ex­pected, while ’Malehlo­honolo said she did not know his where­abouts.

The Scotts were ar­rested on 12 July 2012 for al­legedly killing and mu­ti­lat­ing their Koal­a­bata neigh­bours, Mo­holo­bela Seetsa (13) and Kamo­h­elo Mo­hata (22) in Jan­uary and June 2012, re­spec­tively.

“It was only this morn­ing that I talked to Ntate Hoeane and he told me that he had a prob­lem with the Reg­is­trar but would still be be­fore the court,” ’Malehlo­honolo said.

Her son added: “We had made all the nec­es­sary ar­range­ments and he was the only one left to deal with the Reg­is­trar’s of­fice.”

Jus­tice Moiloa then asked Scott how he would like the mat­ter to pro­ceed and the 30-year-old said he would want an­other chance to con­sult Ad­vo­cate Hoeane.

“I would kindly ask this honor­able court to al­low me to go back to Ntate Hoeane and plead with him for rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­cause we can’t have any­one ex­cept him on this case,” Scott said.

But Jus­tice Moiloa said the casease was tak­ing too long to pro­ceed, and warne­drned the court was not a “play­ground”.

“I have given this case pri­or­ity and we are talk­ing about peo­ple’s livesves here, their be­reaved fam­i­lies andnd the na­tion at large which wants s to see the ul­ti­mate re­sult in thee de­liv­ery of jus­tice. We have al- ready wasted too much time onn this case, and you should nott play hide and seek,” said Jus­tice e Moiloa.

“Let me make it clear to you,ou, Mr Scott; this is not a play­ground,nd, this is a court of law and I would d like to ad­vise you to treat this s case with all the se­ri­ous­ness itt de­serves. You are fac­ing very se- ri­ous charges and your rep­re­sent­nta­tive doesn’t seem to be tak­ing this his mat­ter as se­ri­ously as he shouldd be do­ing.”

He also asked Scott if he was aware of the im­pli­ca­tions of un­nec­es­sarye­c­es­sary de­lays in the case.

“Has your le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tiveve told you about the im­pli­ca­tions of what you and him are do­ing? I think Ntate Hoeanene has very lit­tle re­spect for the courts of law,”aw,” Jus­tice Moiloa said.

But Scott said he did not knowow what the judge was talk­ing about be­cause as far he was con­cerned, he was not guilty of anyny crime.

“No, my Lord. I don’t know what you are talk­ing about be­cause I still don’t’t even know what I’ve done to be be­fore this court. I haven’t done any­thing wrong,” said Scott.

But Jus­tice Moiloa ad­vised the he Scotts to look for an­other lawyer paid byy ei­ther the gov­ern­ment or them­selves.

“Even if I was to pay for my own le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, I would still choose Ntate Hoeane,” Scott re­sponded.

Scott was also ad­vised to seek le­gal ad­vice and guid­ance from ei­ther the Law So­ci­ety or Le­gal Aid. The case con­tin­ues on 24 May. Con­tacted for com­ment yesterday, Ad­vo­cate Hoeane said: “The only rea­son why I didn’t show up in court is be­cause the Reg­is­trar has made it very clear that they don’t have money to pay me. There’s no point at all why I should go to court.

“I had promised to be be­fore the court to ask the judge for his re­cusal but af­ter be­ing told that there was no money to pay me as I was al­ready rep­re­sent­ing the ac­cused on a pro deo ba­sis, I as­sumed that the Reg­is­trar was try­ing to frus­trate these pro­ceed­ings.

“I don’t want to look like I’m try­ing to frus­trate this case or be­ing con­temp­tu­ous to the court.

“I’m not that kind of a per­son and have great re­spect for the courts of law. It’s very un­for­tu­nate that Scott and his mother are now stranded with­out any le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion be­cause they have made it clear that they want me and me only for their case.”

Ad­vo­cate Hoeane fur­ther said he was yet to talk to the Scotts about the is­sue of pay­ment.

“Un­less the pay­ment is­sue is dealt with, I will not go be­fore the court in re­la­tion to this mat­ter,” he said.

In ad­di­tion to the mur­der charges, Scott has been charged for es­cap­ing from law­ful cus­tody.

Scott es­caped from Maseru Cen­tral Prison on 14 Oc­to­ber 2012 while await­ing trial but was ar­rested in Dur­ban, South Africa, as he emerged from a church ser­vice on 6 April 2014.

He was ex­tra­dited to Le­sotho on 21 Oc­to­ber 2015, and ap­peared be­fore the High Court the same day where Jus­tice Moiloa re­manded him in cus­tody un­til 23 Novem­ber 2015. His mother had been re­leased on M500 bail in Au­gust 2013.

Lehlo­honolo Scott - File pic.

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