Detained officer  picks documents from home

Detained officer picks documents from home

MASERU-Superintendent Thabo Tšukulu, who has been in remand prison for three years, was allowed to visit his home on Tuesday to pick up what he says were crucial documents for his defence.

Superintendent Tšukulu, together with four others, is accused of kidnapping and brutally killing Police Constable Mokalekale Khetheng four years ago.

High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe ordered prison warders to escort Superintendent Tšukulu to his home to collect the documents which he said would form part of his defence.
Justice Hungwe said Superintendent Tšukulu would need the documents to prepare for his trial.

Superintendent Tšukulu’s lawyer Advocate Karabo Mohau KC had told the court that his client needed the documents to help him prepare for the trial.
This comes after the prosecution, represented by Advocate Christopher Lephuthing, told the court that there were more charges that are likely to be filed in this case.

Advocate Lephuthing said three witnesses will be called to testify for the crown in the case.
He however argued that he was not comfortable with Superintendent Tšukulu being allowed to pick up documents which his wife could still bring to court.

He said Tšukulu’s wife should instead be ordered to look for the documents and assist the court rather than allow a person in custody to go to his house.
“It’s very risky,” Advocate Lephuthing said.

However, Advocate Mohau explained that just like other inmates who are being escorted to go and see a doctor or attend a funeral of their loved ones it should not be difficult for his client to be escorted home.
“Besides, those documents are only known by Tšukulu not the wife,” Advocate Mohau said.

He said the documents were handwritten adding the Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) had blocked his client from accessing them whilst still in prison.
“All we want is for him to pinpoint the document then the wife will assist by bringing (them) to us,” he said.

He said even though the trial will commence on July 1, they have not been served with all witnesses’ statements.
Superintendent Tšukulu has failed to secure bail in the past.

His attempts to access a library to prepare for his case was also not successful.
He is charged together with the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) deputy leader, Tšeliso Mokhosi, who is the fifth suspect in the murder.
Mokhosi is out on bail.

Other suspects in custody are police officers Mabitle Matona, Haleokoe Taasoane and Mothibeli Mofolo.
They are alleged to have murdered Khetheng on March 26, 2016 near Ha-Mokhalinyane in the district of Maseru.

His family spent a year and a half looking for him while the police insisted he had been released.
The then government led by Pakalitha Mosisili also insisted that it did not know where he was.

However, a testimony by a brave police officer broke the case leading to the arrest of the police officers.
His decomposed body was retrieved at a cemetery on the outskirts of Maseru, triggering an outpouring of national grief and anger against the government then led by Mosisili.

Khetheng was given a proper burial in his home village in Mokhotlong, a few months after Mosisili lost power to Thomas Thabane in 2017.

Itumeleng Khoete

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