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We confessed under duress, suspects tell court

by Lesotho Times
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MASERU – Two men who are facing murder charges told the High Court on Tuesday that they confessed to the murder after they were assaulted by the police.

Simon Phamotse Mosala and Maloro Mokhethi are alleged to have killed Phakiso Mpota on 25 October 2007 at Ha Sethuamajoe, Semonkong in Maseru district.

Mpota had accused the two of stealing his livestock.The accused told Acting Judge Kananelo Mosito, that they surrendered themselves to the police after hearing that the police were looking for them.

Mosala said he was arrested by one Detective Trooper Tahleho. “He did not say anything to me but just handcuffed me and told me that I was under arrest,” Mosala said.

He said he was locked up in his cell overnight. The following day the police officer asked me if I was ready to speak and confess.“Tahleho asked me whether I was not yet prepared to speak the truth but I told him that there was no truth I could tell because I did not know anything,” he said.

“He tied me up on a stool and I spent the whole night with my hands tied up and I was unable to sleep,” he testified.Mosala said he was later handcuffed and thrown into a cell. His colleague, Mokhethi, was also thrown into the cell.

“We were locked in and outside the cell by Tahleho,” Mosala saidMosala said they were later taken to the home of one of the accused on October 27 2007.He said they were forced to point out the weapons they had allegedly used to kill Mpota.

The police denied assaulting the accused to force them to confess.“It was them (accused) who came to the police and told them their story,” said crown witness, Detective Trooper Sephephetho.

The trial continues.

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