Thursday, October 1, 2020

Bakang Seretse & Co. take fight to the State

Former Director of Energy Kenneth Kerekang and asset manager Bakang Seretse who are facing charges of money laundering have turned the tables on the state as they have notified the Attorney General Chambers of their intention to sue for malicious prosecution.

The Director General of Directorate on Corruption and Economic (DCEC) Bruno Paledi is cited as the Third Respondent, the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Stephen Tiroyakgosi is cited as the Second Respondent while the Attorney General of Botswana Abraham Keitshabe is cited as the Third Respondent in the looming legal battle between the accused persons and the State.

Through their Attorneys, Ngakaagae and Co. the accused persons are demanding P25 million each for malicious prosecution by the State.

“Our clients have maintained their innocence. The Directorate of Public Prosecution has resisted efforts for a plea to be recorded citing ongoing investigations.  There is no lawful justification for the prosecution. Our clients consider same to be malicious prosecution,” the two men state in their statutory notice.

Ngakaagae Co. states that “Our client’s position is true considering among other that; they acted on express government instructions. The investigating authority (DCEC)) has a record of such instructions.”

According to the lawyers, “The individuals who decided upon issued the instructions, namely the ministerial and DISS authorities have not been charged and not being investigated.”

They also stated that “the Botswana Government has never disowned the transactions subject of the charge and has in fact owned up to them.”

“For the ongoing and other reasons, there is no evidence whatsoever on the basis of which a charge of Money Laundering or any change for that matter can be sustained. In the circumstances, the continued prosecution of our clients amounts to malicious prosecution.

Therefore Kerekang and Seretse are demanding P25 million each.

“In deciding to bring the malicious charges the malicious charges against our clients, the Director of Public Prosecution was acting in the course and with the scope of his duties. Government is therefore liable to our clients for the wrongful and unlawful act of the Director of Public Prosecutions,” the lawyers stated.

The lawyer also pointed out that “Our clients will pray that a declaration be made that their prosecution is unlawful, alternatively wrongful, in that it amounts to malicious prosecution.  Our clients will pray that the case before His Worship Gabanagae-Regional Magistrate be quashed and that their prosecution be stayed permanently.

Meanwhile Regional Magistrate Gabanagae last Friday relaxed bail conditions for the accused persons and they are now free to travel outside the country. During the ruling the magistrate said the accused persons will often surrender the travel documents when they return. 

The Magistrate ruled that the State should regularise the seizure of the accused persons properties within 14 days. Seretse, Kerekang and Botho Leburu are alleged to have looted the state in the ongoing P250m National Petroleum Fund case.

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