Court Martial president fumes

Court Martial president fumes

MASERU – Court Martial President, Brigadier Mabote Sekoboto, on Tuesday threatened to charge three senior lawyers for contempt of court after they failed to appear in court.
Advocates Karabo Mohau KC, Motiea Teele KC and Letuka Molati failed to appear in court in a case in which their clients are accused of mutiny against the late Lieutenant General Khoantle Motšomotšo, which led to his murder.
The lawyers failed to appear in court on Tuesday.
“They should show cause why they may not be found guilty of contempt of court,” Brigadier Sekoboto said.

Brigadier Sekoboto said this while explaining that the lawyers had failed to give reasons why they did not attend the proceedings of the court martial.
He said that the lawyers would be served with summons to go to court to appear before him on their contempt charges.
The Court Martial resumed after a long break after the accused soldiers Major Pitso Ramoepane, Captain Litekanyo Nyakane and Captain Boiketsiso Fonane had challenged their prosecution in the High Court.
The three officers filed an application asking the High Court to stop their prosecution because they were facing a murder case in the High Court in which their defence would overlap on with the Court Martial’s.
They however lost the case in the High Court paving way for the Court Martial to resume on Monday. The defence lawyers however failed to turn up in court, raising Brigadier Sekoboto’s ire.
The defence lawyers missed the attendance of the Court Martial again on Tuesday without giving reasons why they did so, which annoyed Brigadier Sekoboto.

Yesterday, Advocate Molati attended the court as summoned. He told the court that the reason why they had not attended court was because their clients had not paid them for representation.
The court then asked the accused soldiers if they knew of any reasons why their legal representatives had not attended their cases.
The accused indicated that they are low on funds and were not able to pay their lawyers. They said they had since applied to the High Court asking the government to assist them in paying their lawyers.
However, the prosecution said while the government would wish to assist them with funds it is so broke that it cannot help pay their fees.
They suggested that the court should proceed with the matter.
The court said it would decide on what to do with their situation.

Itumeleng Khoete


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