Scott’s lawyer wants judge out

Scott’s lawyer wants judge out

Justice Maqelepo

MASERU

A lawyer representing murder suspects Lehlohonolo Scott and his mother, ’Malehlohonolo Scott, wants High Court judge Justice Teboho Moiloa to recuse himself from the case.

Advocate Thulo Hoeane told thepost yesterday that he was preparing to file an application before the same judge seeking his immediate recusal.

Hoeane is not happy that the judge allowed a prosecution witness, Lance Sergeant Liau Seeko, who is a photographer with the police, to present photographs which he argued were not admissible evidence in court.

Hoeane had a feisty exchange with the judge when he told him that he would no longer appear before him.

But the judge responded by instructing the registrar to appoint another lawyer to replace him.

Hoeane told thepost last night that he was not refusing to represent the Scotts but was “not going to appear before this judge in this case for reasons I have discussed at length with my clients”.

The photos that triggered the misunderstanding were that of a severed human head, hands and legs, a hacksaw, a knife, a brown box with blood stains.

Seeko told the court that he photographed the body parts at ’Malehlohonolo Scott’s Koalabata house where she lived with his co-accused son Lehlohonolo.

He also took some of the photos at a nearby donga.

Hoeane said his client (Lehlohonolo) “does not feel he is getting justice from this court and would like the judge to rescue himself”.

He said he was going to hold further consultations with his clients before filing for Justice Moiloa’srecusal.

Lehlohonolo Scott and his mother ’Malehlohonolo Scott are standing trial for allegedly murdering two teenagers in Koalabata in 2012.

Their alleged first victim was Moholobela Seetsa, a secondary school boy who disappeared when he had gone to play with his mates in the village in January.

In July, a university student Kamohelo Mohata also disappeared from the village.

Later that month the police found body parts in Lehohonolo Scott’s vehicle and in the house where he lived with his mother, while other body parts and clothes that were identified as belonging to the two teenagers were found in toilets and a donga.

The case will resume on May 16.

Hoeane saysif the judge refuses to recuse himself he will not appear before him.

“We have lost confidence in him, we will never appear before him again,” Hoeane said.

’Mamoholobela Seetsa told thepost that shewas aware that the prosecution wants the matter to be dealt with as quickly as possible but the Scotts and their lawyer were frustrating the whole process.

She said the case was supposed to start in October 2012 but Scott escaped from prison, putting the trial on hold.

“All we want is for this case to be finalised because it opens old wounds that are about to be healed,” she said.

Kamohelo Mohata’s grandfather, Ramojaki Mohata, told the packed courtroom that on July 14, 2012 he went to the mortuary to identify the dismembered body of his grandson.

“And when I looked, I discovered it was Kamohelo’s head,” he said. “I identified it as Kamohelo’s, I even saw some other parts like hands,” Mohata said.

The Scotts arrived at the High Court on Monday under heavy guard.

Kamohelo Mohata’s younger brother, Refiloe Mohata, told the court that Lehlohonolo Scott visited their homestead a number of times immediately after Kamohelo’s disappearance.

He told the court that on the day of his brother’s disappearance he received a text message that said: “I am going to Joburg on a school trip there is some stuff we have to do but I did not take my passport.”

The message was from Kamohelo’s cell phone.

At around 3 o’clock in the afternoon he called Kamohelo back and his phone was switched off.

Around 4 o’clock, he was at home when a stranger showed up and asked him where Kamohelo was.

Refiloe Mohata said he told the stranger that Kamohelo was not around.

Refiloe asked him his name and “he responded by saying he was Lehloohonolo”.

Between 6 and 7 o’clock, Lehloohonolo was back and asked Refiloe if his brother was in.

Lehloohonolo was told Kamohelo had not yet arrived from Jo’burg.

The following day Lehloohonolo was back at the brothers’ Koalabata house.

This time around, Lehlohonolo asked Refiloe if he had Kamohelo’s South African cell phone numbers and he told Lehlohonolo that he did not have them.

He came back again.

“When he arrived, he asked if (Kamohelo) had arrived.He said he had lent him a (computer) hard drive,” Refiloe Mohata said.

“I told him that person had not arrived and if he had brought a hard drive at home I could have seen it. Lehlohonolo left,” he said.

Five minutes time after Lehlohonolo’s departure, Refiloe got a text message from an unknown mobile number.

“The SMS was saying I should go and collect my brother’s books at a bus stop called Khekhenene,” he said.

Later the same number called and he was told that he should not go to the bus stop because the taxi with those books had just passed.

Refiloe doubted the caller’s authenticity.

“Viewing from the bus-stop as it was already getting dark, there was not even the sight of vehicle lights,” he stated.

Then police investigators from Criminal Investigation Division (CID) visited him the following dayon July 12, 2012.

They asked him when he last saw his brother.

“I got convinced that they were police officers when they asked me about an SMS in my phone sent by my brother,” he said.

A day after he learnt that his brother had been murdered.

Advocate Gareth Justin Leppan, for the crown, asked him to point at the stranger who visited him and he pointed at Lehlohonolo.

“It is that ntate wearing a suit over there,” Refiloe Mohata responded pointing at Lehlohonolo and his mother, who were sitting in the dock.

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