Police officers sued for M6 million

Police officers sued for M6 million

MASERU-A Berea prisons officer is claiming M6 million in damages from 12 police officers for malicious arrest.

Advocate Lebonajoang Ramohalali is suing the officers, all based at the Berea Police Station in Teya-teyaneng, in their personal capacities.
Advocate Ramohalali, who is a chief officer at the Lesotho Correctional Services, was arrested by armed police officers on March 20 as he was walking in Teya-teyaneng town.

At the police station some officers allegedly told him that his arrest was connected to three robbery suspects who had hired him two days earlier.
The allegation was that he had benefited from the proceeds of the robbery when the clients paid him M2 000. He says he told the officers that the money was for his consultation and file opening fees but they still threw him in prison cells.

Advocate Ramohalali was only released on March 24 after spending four days in the cells.
He says when he was taken to court the prosecutor said there were no charges against him.

This, he says, was only confirming that the arrest was “malicious and unlawful”.

“When I was arrested the police did not read any charges to me. They didn’t officially tell me why I was being detained,” Advocate Ramohalali told thepost this week.

“They arrested me without probable cause because they simply wanted to show their power.”
He also says while in detention the police denied him access to his lawyer.
He is claiming M3 million for “unlawful and malicious arrest and detention”.

He wants M2 million for defamation which he says he suffered when the police handcuffed and walked him through the town to the station.
“They dragged me through the town in handcuffs and that portrayed me as a criminal,” he says.

“As an officer of the court they could have simply summoned me but they opted to harass and arrest me in public.”
Advocate Ramohalali is also demanding M1 million for the humiliation he claims to have suffered.

The respondents include Superintendent Matholoana Tholoana, the station commander.
“I am claiming damages against any police officer who had a hand in my arrest and subsequent detention.”

“The station commander is involved because the police officers told me that she had ordered that I be kept in the cells.”
He claims that Supt Tholoana refused to receive the court papers when the Deputy Sheriff of court served her.

“She told him (deputy sheriff) that he must get out of the office and serve the papers on the Commissioner of Police.”
Advocate Ramohalali says he is suing the officers in their personal capacity “because they were not acting at the Commissioner’s behest when they unlawfully arrested and detained me”.

“They were acting out of their own malicious intent and should therefore pay the damages from their own pocket.”

“The police bosses initially tried to intervene but they have since told me that they don’t want to be involved because I am suing the officers in their personal capacity.”

Staff Reporter

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