AG warns police boss

AG warns police boss

MASERU-ATTORNEY General Haae Phoofolo says the decision by Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli to summon Prime Minister Thomas Thabane for interrogation could trigger a constitutional crisis.
Commissioner Molibeli last week wrote to Thabane asking him to report at his office for questioning over the brutal killing of his estranged wife, Lipolelo Thabane, two days before he was sworn in as premier in June 2017.

Commissioner Molibeli has now linked the Prime Minister with the murder.
Thabane was supposed to report to the police yesterday but did not show up.
In a letter written to the police commissioner on Tuesday, Advocate Phoofolo said the decision to summon Thabane “while he is still in office as the Prime Minister is leading the country into unchartered waters that may eventually put our country into a constitutional crisis”.

Advocate Phoofolo said Thabane is the “head of government, meaning all the government institutions including the police, and while in office all the executive powers of the government he leads are vested in him”.
“So, summoning him . . . like an ordinary project manager elsewhere may be tantamount to undermining his executive authority over government,” Advocate Phoofolo said.
“The ground reality is that, while the police institution has settled into a groove, and are firing from all cylinders, they are bound to observe protocol and genuflect to the government authority,” he said.
He reminded Commissioner Molibeli that in his affidavit in a case in which he challenged Thabane’s decision to fire him, he implicated him in Lipolelo’s murder saying he had gathered evidence.
“This means that the Prime Minister’s responses to the questions you (intend) to put to him are of no use any longer regarding the above cited case,” he said.
“It is difficult to comprehend why you are now calling him in relation to a matter where you have already concluded that he is implicated even before he is tried.”
Advocate Phoofolo said while he appreciated the role of the police in ensuring public order and safety of people through respect of rule of law “I have to advise your office in my capacity as the Attorney General of Lesotho…”

He advised that the Commissioner should “indulge the Prime Minister time to finish the processes leading to his stepping down as he has recently announced”.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Paseka Mokete told thepost last night that they are still to come up with a position after Thabane’s no-show.
DCP Mokete said they had heard that Thabane wanted them to meet at another place other than a police station.
“Then if Mohammed does not come to the mountain, the mountain will go to Mohammed,” DCP Mokete said.

Advocate Phoofolo, speaking from Geneva, told thepost last night that there are certain procedures and protocols that must be observed before Thabane can be summoned.
“I am not saying he should not be summoned, but l am saying there are certain issues that have to be observed first,” Advocate Phoofolo said.
He said the police summoned Thabane without consulting him as the AG when he is the legal adviser of every government institution.
Advocate Phoofolo said the letter which was sent to Thabane was written in his capacity as the Prime Minister not as an individual.
Thabane’s Senior Private Secretary Thabo Thakalekoala said “the police are the ones who are supposed to come to him as their father”.

Majara Molupe

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