‘Mokhosi, Letsoepa trial dates set
HIGH Court judge Justice Thamsanqa Nomngcongo on Tuesday set 4 to 7 September 2018 as the trial dates for the case in which the deputy leader of the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) Tšeliso Mokhosi and former police commissioner Molahlehi Letsoepa stand accused of murdering Police Constable (PC) Mokalekale Khetheng two years ago.
The duo is charged alongside four other police officers.
The other officers are Senior Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, Superintendent Mothibeli Mofolo, Inspector Mabitle Matona and Police Constable Haleokoe Taasoane who are all currently on suspension from the police service.
The four police officers are still detained in the Maseru Maximum Security Prison.
The trial dates for all the accused persons had not yet been set as preparations were still underway to get foreign judges to preside over the case and other criminal cases involving members of the security agencies.
But, on Tuesday the defence lawyers and the prosecution asked Justice Nomngcongo to fix 4 to 7 September 2018 as the trial dates.
It was then that that Justice Nomngcongo asked some rhetorical questions pertaining to the case.
“Has the matter been properly allocated? How do you set dates before a different judge who is seized with the matter? How do you fix dates without a presiding judge,” Justice Nomngcongo asked.
Mr Mokhosi’s lawyer, Attorney Qhalehang Letsika told the judge that the lawyers had been informed by the office of the Registrar and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that judges would be available from September onwards.
“The understanding is that once the dates have been fixed for that particular month (the) judges will be available.
“We, therefore urge your lordship to accept the dates as suggested,” Attorney Letsika said.
One of the defence lawyers, King’s Counsel Zwelakhe Mda added: “In fact two weeks ago I was before your brother (Molefi) Makara J where it was said that judges would be available from September and the same was confirmed by the DPP, as my learned friend has just said”.
Justice Nomngcongo accepted the dates but remarked: “That is quite unusual”.
“However, the matter is set to proceed from the 4th to 7th of September 2018.”
Meanwhile, Mr Letsoepa remains at large after he skipped the country in August last year soon after he was sent on forced leave by Prime Minister Thomas Thabane. Mr Letsoepa who is believed to be in hiding in neighbouring South Africa has now missed four court appearances.