Mos­ito ap­pli­ca­tion hits brick wall

Lesotho Times - - News - Tefo Tefo

SUS­PENDED Pres­i­dent of the Court of Ap­peal Jus­tice Kananelo Mos­ito ( pic­tured) on Tues­day lost a case in which he wanted the High Court to com­pel the gov­ern­ment to sup­ply him with in­for­ma­tion for his im­peach­ment trial.

This was af­ter the tri­bunal in­ves­ti­gat­ing Jus­tice Mos­ito for pos­si­ble im­peach­ment had ruled that he was not en­ti­tled to the doc­u­ments which the sus­pended judge in­sists are nec­es­sary for his de­fence. The tri­bunal is com­prised of chair­per­son Jus­tice Fred­erik Daniel Ja­cobus Brand, Jus­tice Noel Vic­tor Hurt, and Jus­tice John God­frey Fox­croft who are all from South Africa.

Jus­tice Mos­ito was sup­posed to have sub­mit­ted his writ­ten de­fence by 1 June 2016 to the tri­bunal for the pro­ceed­ings sched­uled for next Mon­day.

Jus­tice Mos­ito, who was ap­pointed Court of Ap­peal Pres­i­dent in Jan­uary 2015, is ac­cused of fail­ing to pay tax for his law firm be­tween 1996 and 2014.

In his ap­pli­ca­tion filed be­fore the High Court last month, Jus­tice Mos­ito wanted to ac­cess doc­u­ments au­tho­ris­ing his pros­e­cu­tion for al­leged tax eva­sion and in­for­ma­tion on pre­vi­ous pros­e­cu­tions for the of­fence.

The gov­ern­ment, Jus­tice Fred­erik Daniel Ja­cobus Brand, Jus­tice Noel Vic­tor Hurt, and Jus­tice John God­frey Fox­croft and At­tor­ney-gen­eral Tšokolo Makhethe were cited as first to fifth re­spon­dents re­spec­tively in the mat­ter.

How­ever, act­ing High Court judge Jus­tice John ‘Musi on Tues­day dis­missed Jus­tice Mos­ito’s ap­pli­ca­tion on the grounds the tri­bunal’s rul­ing to deny him the par­tic­u­lars would not re­sult in a mis­car­riage of jus­tice.

“I am of the view that no grave in­jus­tice would oc­cur if I leave the de­ci­sion of the tri­bunal to stand,” said Jus­tice ‘Musi.

“A judge must al­ways act with in­tegrity and hon­esty. A judge’s duty to act with in­tegrity and to up­hold high eth­i­cal stan­dards does not mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­pear be­cause he/she is a lit­i­gant or an ac­cused per­son. There is a duty on a judge — even as an ac­cused — to act openly and with can­dour when charged with an of­fence.”

He slated Jus­tice Mos­ito for us­ing “de­lay tac­tics”, say­ing such an ap­proach by a judged di­min­ished the es­teem of the ju­di­ciary.

“Ob­fus­ca­tion, de­lay tac­tics, and un­rea­son­able le­gal points do not do the judge and the ju­di­ciary any favours; in fact it di­min­ishes the re­spect of the ju­di­ciary in the eyes of the pub­lic,” charged Jus­tice ‘Musi.

“The duty to act hon­estly and frankly means that a judge who is the sub­ject of an in­quiry should make full dis­clo­sure as early as pos­si­ble and he/she must be mind­ful of the fact that al­though he/she is an ac­cused per­son, he/she still has a duty to as­sist the tri­bunal in get­ting to the bot­tom of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion as soon as pos­si­ble.”

He added: “The tran­scen­dent virtues of a judge should shine through and be seen even dur­ing his/her dark­est hour.”

Jus­tice ‘ Musi or­dered the sus­pended judge to file his state­ment of de­fence to the tri­bunal be­fore 4pm to­mor­row.

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