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Ntsie’s lawyer cautioned

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU — A High Court judge on Tuesday told a defence lawyer representing Habofanoe Ntsie to stick to the murder trial before court and not drag in the case involving the killing of the prime minister’s son.

Prominent Maseru lawyer Haae Phoofolo is representing Ntsie who is facing two counts of murder.

Ntsie is being charged with the murder of two of his neighbours, Souru Masupha and Habaka Mahao, at Lancer’s Gap in Berea on November 30, 2004.

In his cross-examination Phoofolo asked Superintendent Sello Mosili, the investigating police officer, if he told the court during Ntsie’s trial-within-a-trial that he had nothing to do with investigations over Maile Mosisili’s death.

Maili is the prime minister’s son who was killed in Maseru in 2002.

But Justice ‘Maseforo Mahase intervened telling Phoofolo to stick to the murder cases that were before the court.

“We are in this court because your client is charged with murder,” Justice Mahase told Phoofolo.

“It seems we are dealing with a different case. I do not know that (Mosili) was investigating Maile Mosisili’s death.

“I overrule you if you are going to relate Maile Mosisili’s death.”

Mosili told the court that Ntsie’s claim that he was investigating the murder of Maile was never a reason why his murder trial should have been delayed.

Ntsie earlier this year told the High Court that some police officers including Mosili had conspired to kill him.

The court also heard that ’Mole Khumalo, a Lesotho Defence Force officer, was among the people who had conspired to kill Ntsie.

Khumalo was charged with Mosisili’s murder but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Mosili however told the court that Ntsie was fabricating lies about things he had never said after realising that his case was crumbling.

“He wants to portray me as a corrupt policeman,” Mosili said.

Justice Mahase last week ruled that there was no conspiracy on the part of the police against Ntsie.

Asked why there was a delay in bringing Ntsie’s case to court, Mosili said the docket had been taken to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for instruction.

“We gave the docket to the Director of Public Prosecutions immediately after the investigations were complete,” Mosili said.

“It is the DPP who gives instructions to go to court.”

Phoofolo asked Mosili why statements taken by the police in 2004 and again in 2007 were different.

He said the statement made by one witness in 2004 exonerated the accused whereas the second statement made in 2007 implicated him.

Phoofolo argued that the statement had been changed.

“To my knowledge the docket has not changed. The news that statements in the docket were changed is something new to me.

“I only know about the 2004 docket which was sent to the DPP after the investigations were complete,” Mosili said.

The trial continues.

Meanwhile, a Maseru magistrate will today deliver a ruling on a bail application filed by two women who were last month convicted of kidnapping.

‘Maselebalo Ntaopane and ‘Mathuso Ntiisa were sentenced to 15 years in jail each for kidnapping a newly born baby.

Magistrate ‘Makampong Mokhele is expected to deliver judgment this afternoon.

Their lawyer Advocate Molefi Masoabi said the two women should be granted free bail.

“The applicants are both not working,” Masoabi said.

“Before imprisonment, they supported their families through odd jobs.

“They further promise that if they are given bail, they would not go anywhere beyond the jurisdiction of this court.”

But prosecutor Thabang Motsamai asked the court to consider that during the trial there were threats of mob justice against the accused.  

“Lack of closure renders the presence of the accused in community still undesirable, therefore their safety and protection stands to be compromised if they are released on bail pending appeal.”

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