A case in which four men are facing six counts of burglary and theft remains in limbo due to repeated failure by the prosecution to recall the complainant, who is also a key witness in the trial, from his home country, China.
State prosecutor, Gasemotho Pitlagano, was last week sweating it out in a bid to parry challenges from defense attorney Tshekiso Tshekiso of Kgalemang and Associates, who rubbished his submissions that they are failing to locate the complainant and prosecution star witness Chang Quing Jun in his home country of China.
Pitlagano pleaded with Francistown Principal Magistrate, Peggy Madandume, to postpone the case as the main witness, who is also the complainant in the matter, is in China and cannot be located. He told the court that repeated attempts to try and get the investigating officers to locate the complainant have not borne fruit, adding that they have now engaged Interpol to assist them.
The four accused, Agisanyang Johnson, Abert Kenosi, Lastboy Thomas and Edwin Thomas, together with Shandulo Letshola, who has since turned state witness, and Keabetswe Mugabe Mokanyane, who is at large, are charged with six counts of theft. They are said to have, on March 25th 2006 at Area L location, broken into Chang Quing Jun’s house and stolen his property.
Tshekiso argued during the trial that the state had ample time and resources at their disposal, such that the argument that they cannot locate the star witness is unfounded.
“I expect the prosecution to take what I say in court seriously because it is not an informal conversation,” Tshekiso said.
He pleaded with court to consider section 150, sub section 4 of the penal code and release the accused as the state had failed to bring the star witness to court.
“It is baffling how the police and the prosecution, who operate under the same umbrella and with unlimited resources at their disposal, can fail to locate such an important witness,” he said.
The case continues.