Police to go after those who helped ‘Maesaiah flee

Police to go after those who helped ‘Maesaiah flee

MASERU – DEPUTY Commissioner of Police (DCP) Paseka Mokete says the police are now investigating some people who might have assisted First Lady ‘Maesaiah Thabane to escape on January 10.
‘Maesaiah fled the country after the police asked her to report for questioning in connection with Lipolelo Thabane’s murder.

She was not seen until Tuesday when her lawyer accompanied her to the police. She spent Tuesday night in a police cell and appeared in the magistrates’ court yesterday.
He remand in custody was however short-lived as she was released on bail a few hours later.

Last night DCP Mokete told thepost that the police are looking into a number of senior government officials, ministers as well as well as local and Chinese businessmen suspected of assisting ‘Maesaiah to skip the country or with money for her upkeep when she was on the run.
“We are looking at those who helped her escape,” DCP Mokete said. “There are also some ministers and businessmen, local and Chinese, who are alleged to have helped her with money.”

He said their last tip off was that ‘Maesaiah was hiding somewhere in Bethlehem, a South African town 179 km north of Maseru.
He said the police have information that some businessmen and ministers were wiring money to her.
“All those who participated in helping her are being investigated for defeating the ends of justice.”

“We are working on gathering evidence of the people who helped her escape using government vehicles and those that sponsored her stay in South Africa.”
“All investigations are completed and we are just waiting for the eight other suspects to be included in the case.”
He said they suspect that money was being deposited into accounts in Lesotho and then withdrawn in South Africa to help her.

DCP Mokete said those who gave her money cannot claim that they did not know that she was a fugitive because the police announced her escape on January 10.
He said although investigations are not yet completed the police believe they have a strong case against her.

“We were in the process of informing the South African Police Service that we have a fugitive from justice in their country,” DCP Mokete said in an impromptu press conference soon after ‘Maesaiah appeared in court.
“It is important to say that when she ran away she did not even know what we were asking her to report for and now she has been charged and knows fully what her counts are.”
He said the police were going to oppose her bail application because murder is a serious crime and she is a flight risk.

“It is not easy for someone to await trial out of custody especially when she has fled the country before, and our investigations show that she was being protected and sponsored by other ministers, businessmen including Chinese businessmen.”

“For these reasons we will fight the bail application.”
He said the net is also closing in on five suspects who are alleged to have directly participated in the murder. Most of those suspects, he said, are in South Africa.

Staff Reporter


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