Friday, July 19, 2024

Bail for soldier accused of double murder denied

Thebe Njavera, a 22-year-old Botswana Defence Force soldier facing two charges of murder was last week refused bail pending trial by the Francistown Magistrate, Njabuliso Siziba.

The accused, who is based at Donga Military camp in Francistown, allegedly murdered his two daughters at Somerset Extension location in Francistown after a misunderstanding with the mother of his children on the 4th of February this year.

According to the facts from prosecution, on the 4th of February, the accused was left in the company of his two daughters as the mother of the children had gone to work. It is alleged that when the mother came back from work she found the two children dead in a pool of blood as the accused had already fled. He was then arrested the same day through the help of the public and he was handed to the police.

The accused has not pleaded guilty to the charges.

 In his previous mention, the accused pleaded with the court to grant him bail as he would not interfere with prosecution witnesses. He further pleaded with the court to release him from custody saying that he is innocent until proven guilty by the court.

The prosecution has opposed his bail application expressing fears that he may abscond from trial as he is facing a serious criminal offence. The prosecution further repelled the bail application on the basis that the accused at some point indicated to the investigation officers that he did not accomplish his entire mission.

“There is also a likelihood that if he is convicted he might face a severe sentence given the seriousness of the offences therefore he is a flight risk. The accused is also suicidal, therefore we strongly oppose his bail application,” said the state prosecutor.

The prosecution further said that they are still waiting for his psychiatric examination results.

Giving his ruling on Friday, the presiding magistrate concurred with the state submissions that the accused could not be given bail given the seriousness of the offence. He further said that although the court has to prove the guilt of an accused person beyond reasonable doubt, he (accused) posed a danger to the public and is a flight risk.

”With all the serious allegations levelled by the prosecution and their supporting affidavits, the court has come to the conclusion that the accused is a danger to the public and a flight risk. A very severe sentence cannot be ruled out if he is found guilty given the fact that human lives were taken. This was the life of two innocent children, therefore, he cannot be granted bail,” pronounced Siziba.

Njavera has been given six weeks to appeal and his next mention has been set for the 19th of April.


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