RITUAL murder suspect Lehlohonolo Scott suffered a massive legal blow after High Court judge Justice Teboho Moiloa dismissed his claims that the police tortured him to illegally obtain evidence to build a case against him.
Justice Moiloa on Monday ruled that the police had legitimately obtained evidence against Scott who stands accused of murdering fellow Koalabata residents, Moholobela Seetsa (13) and Kamohelo Mohata (22) in January and June 2012 respectively.
In his ruling this week, Justice Moiloa said that all the evidence gathered at Scott’s house, toilet and the nearby donga in Koalabata, Berea, in July 2012 was legitimate as it was Scott himself who led the police to the evidence.
“All the evidence relating to 12, 13 and 14 July 2012 at (Scott’s) house, toilet and donga is admissible before the court because the pointing out of this evidence was done by you (Scott), therefore the evidence stands,” Justice Moiloa ruled.
The ruling was made after Scott petitioned the court not to accept his earlier submissions in the case on the grounds he only confessed to killing the two Koalabata boys after the police brutally tortured him until he soiled himself.
Scott calmly accepted Justice Moiloa’s ruling and only asked to be given a written copy of the ruling.
Scott’s lawyer Advocate Thulo Hoeane did not pitch up for the Monday court session, with both court officials and Scott professing ignorance about his whereabouts.
The court officials told Justice Moiloa that Adv Hoeane’s mobile phone rang unanswered.
On his part, Scott told Justice Moiloa that he had expected that Adv Hoeane would attend the court session.
“When we last spoke, he (Adv Hoeane) was ready to come to court today,” Scott said. Justice Moiloa replied by asking whether there was any lawyer who was prepared to stand in for the absent Adv Hoeane and represent Scott.
None of the lawyers volunteered to represent Scott but this did not deter Justice Moiloa who proceeded to rule against Scott’s application to have his earlier submissions ruled as inadmissible.
After delivering the ruling, Justice Moiloa then remanded Scott’s case to 27 November 2018.
Scott (31) and his mother ’Ma Lehlohonolo (61) are accused of murdering Seetsa and Mohata in 2012.
However, Scott is being tried separately due to his mother’s long illness. Scott also told the court that his mother’s was still unfit to stand trial.
“I received reports on Friday (2 November) that she was still not well therefore cannot appear before the court,” Scott Said.
On his part, Scott appeared much healthier than he did when he was first arrested in July 2012.
He also appeared to be in high spirits as he sat in the dock engaging in conversations and sharing jokes with the eight soldiers who had been brought to court to face charges of murdering army commander Lieutenant General Maaparankoe Mahao in 2015.
However, Justice Moiloa said the accused soldiers had been wrongfully brought before him and they had to appear before the Acting Chief Justice, Maseforo Mahase, in another court room. The soldiers patted Scott on the shoulder as they were escorted out of the court room.
In addition to murder, Scott faces another charge of unlawful escape from the Maseru Central Prison on 14 October 2012 while he was awaiting trial.
After almost two years on the run, Scott was arrested in Durban, South Africa on 6 April 2014 and he lost his fight against extradition in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court on 5 May 2015.
He was extradited to Lesotho on 21 October 2015 and he remains in custody while awaiting the finalisation of his trial.
His mother was released on bail in August 2013.