DPP begs top prosecutor  not to quit

DPP begs top prosecutor not to quit

MASERU – THE Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Hlalefang Motinyane, is pleading with lead prosecutor, Advocate Shaun Abrahams, not to withdraw from the high-profile cases he has been handling.
Advocate Abrahams wrote the DPP last month indicating his intention to withdraw from all the cases with immediate effect.
Yesterday, he moved a formal application in court to formalize the withdrawal.

Advocate Abrahams refused to disclose to thepost why he was withdrawing from the case, only saying it was on professional grounds.
He was the lead prosecutor in cases that involve former Lesotho army boss, Lieutenant General Tlali Kamoli, and several other soldiers who are facing charges that range from murder to high treason.
Advocate Motinyane told the court yesterday that she was pleading with Advocate Abrahams not to withdraw as her lead counsel in the cases.
“I intend to do things right as I cannot afford to lose him,” Advocate Motinyane told High Court judge, Justice Charles Hungwe.

“I am committing myself to resolve the hiccups that we had with him so that he could still continue to be the lead counsel in these matters,” she said.
“We have come a long way with him and I cannot afford to lose him. He too has come a long way with these cases, he even interviewed so many witnesses.”

Advocate Motinyane told the court to give her a week to resolve Advocate Abrahams’ matter and would then provide directives on the way forward.
“By end of this week, things will be worked out, but if that doesn’t happen, my office will be left with no choice but to proceed with the cases without Advocate Abrahams,” she said.
“However, it would be unfair to lose him as we still want to work with him.”
She told the court that Advocate Abrahams’ withdrawal “will not only waste the court’s time but the accused persons’ (time) too”.

“It’s going to be unfair to the accused persons to wait for the dates that will be set,” she said.
She pleaded with the court to give her a week to work on Advocate Abrahams’ matters and hoped “things will be back to normal”.
Advocate Abrahams told the court that “for professional reasons, I can no longer proceed” with Lt Gen Kamoli and other soldiers’ case as a lead crown counsel.

He said over the last year, the DPP and him had attempted to resolve “administrative and professional differences”.
He said the issues “have remained unresolved despite numerous attempts at finding an amicable resolution”.
“This resulted in me writing to the DPP on August 18 giving her timeous notice of my intention to withdraw as crown counsel in all matters with immediate effect,” he said.
He said at the time of filing, he was unaware of the Superior Court Practice Direction No 4 of 2021.

“Had I known, I would have filed an application for my withdrawal in compliance with the provisions of the Superior Court Practice Direction,” he said.
He said he had taken the requisite measures to timeously provide notice of his intention to withdraw with immediate effect on September 1.
“I have at all times demonstrated the requisite good cause in this matter to this court,” he said.

However, defence counsel Advocate Karabo Mohau KC argued that Advocate Abrahams could have given or warned them that he was going to withdraw as he had spent sleepless nights preparing for the cases only to be surprised that all of a sudden the leading prosecutor was withdrawing from the cases.
He however had no objections against Advocate Abrahams’ withdrawal.
The cases were postponed to Monday for mention.

’Malimpho Majoro

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