Soldiers ‘confess’ over editor’s shooting

Soldiers ‘confess’ over editor’s shooting

MASERU – FOUR soldiers were yesterday interrogated by the police over the shooting of former Lesotho Times editor, Lloyd Mutungamiri, in July last year. The suspects were later taken before a magistrate where they allegedly confessed to shooting Mutungamiri, thepost heard last night.
A spokesperson for the magistracy, ’Mampota Phakoe, confirmed the development but indicated it is not yet clear how they confessed because “such information is not for the public”.

“There were confessions today but as you know we are not supposed to know what they said,” Phakoe said.
“We are yet to know when they will appear in court if there will be any appearance,” she said.
Earlier in the day, the four Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) soldiers were grilled by the police over Mutungamiri’s shooting.
Police spokesman Inspector Mpiti Mopeli said some of the suspects are likely to be taken to the Maseru Magistrates’ Court for remand.
He said the suspects will be charged with attempted murder.

Mopeli said the police expect to pick up more suspects in connection with the case as the investigation widens.
Mutungamiri was shot four times at his house in Upper Thamae by unknown gunmen. The suspects were never arrested.
His shooting came after the newspaper published two articles that the government said were false and defamatory.
The newspaper had a few weeks earlier reported that the government was discussing a hefty M40 million pay-out to then army commander Lt Gen Tlali Kamoli, a claim the government said was false.

A report by a SADC commission had recommended that Lt Gen Kamoli should be removed as Lesotho’s army commander following the killing of another former commander Lt Gen Maaparankoe Mahao in May 2015.
The Lesotho Times had also published a satirical column, Scrutator, which lampooned Lt Gen Kamoli. The article infuriated the government.
Mutungamiri and another reporter, Keiso Mohloboli, were summoned by the police and were interrogated over the Lt Gen Kamoli story and the satirical column.

Mutungamiri’s shooting triggered howls of protest from human rights and press freedom organisations which called for an independent investigation into the incident.

Staff Reporter

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