De­fence lawyers pe­ti­tion court in Ma­hao case

Sunday Express - - NEWS - Tefo Tefo

THE trial date for the eight sol­diers ac­cused of mur­der­ing for­mer Le­sotho De­fence Force Com­man­der, Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Maa­parankoe Ma­hao, will be set on 9 July this year.

High Court judge Jus­tice Thamsanqa Nom­ng­congo who was sup­posed to set the date last Thurs­day, said he would now do so on 9 July af­ter the lawyers for the ac­cused in­formed him that the pros­e­cu­tion had not yet given the state­ments by wit­nesses.

The de­fence needs the wit­nesses’ state­ments to en­able them to ef­fec­tively pre­pare their de­fence in the case.

Jus­tice Nom­ng­congo or­dered the pros­e­cu­tion to fur­nish the de­fence lawyers with the wit­nesses’ state­ments by 9 July.

He also or­dered the eight army of­fi­cers to ap­pear be­fore the High Court on the 9 July 2018 for the court to set trial dates.

The eight army of­fi­cers are Cap­tain Litekanyo Nyakane, Cap­tain Ha­leo Makara, Sergeant Lekhooa Moepi, Sergeant Mot­samai Fako, Cor­po­ral Marasi ‘Moleli, Cor­po­ral Motšoane Machai, Cor­po­ral Mohlalefi Seitl­heko and Cor­po­ral Tšitso Ramo­holi.

They stand ac­cused mur­der­ing Lt-Gen Ma­hao in Mokema near Maseru on 25 June 2015.

The Ma­hao’s fam­ily has also said it was mulling a court ap­pli­ca­tion to have the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Pakalitha Mo­sisili, his for­mer Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Mo­thetjoa Mets­ing and for­mer army com­man­der Lieu­tenant Gen­eral Tlali Kamoli held an­swer­able for Lt-Gen Ma­hao’s as­sas­si­na­tion.

Two months ago, the gov­ern­ment told the South­ern African De­vel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) that it had com­pleted in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the June 2015 as­sas­si­na­tion of Lt-Gen Ma­hao, adding that eight sol­diers have since been charged with his mur­der.

“What is pend­ing (in the Ma­hao in­ves­ti­ga­tion) is the bal­lis­tic re­port as the firearms used in this case were sub­mit­ted by the LDF and sent to bal­lis­tics sec­tion for test­ing on 19 March 2018,” the gov­ern­ment said.

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